Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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PNM Barrackpore West election candidate drops out
Chief elections officer of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Ramesh Nanan said because the deadline for nominations has passed, the PNM will not be able to field another candidate for Barrackpore West. “Nomination day process has been closed and that is the end of that,” Nanan said. He was responding to PNM candidate Indar Jairaj’s decision to withdraw his nomination last week.
Speaking at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella yesterday, Nanan said Jairaj did not give any reasons for his withdrawal. Nanan said:“I have only information about one candidate who has withdrawn his candidacy and that is in Barrackpore West. “It is a PNM candidate and he withdrew within the stipulated time. He had up to five clear days until polling day, so he withdrew. He did not give any specific reason, he just went ahead and withdrew.”
He said Jairaj’s withdrawal followed the proper procedure, as the declaration contained the signatures of two of the people who had nominated him. Candidates have until October 14 to withdraw from the elections, the same day voting for special electors begins.
Commenting on the PNM’s objection to three Congress of the People (COP) candidates—Sookdeo Prakash Bharath, J- Lyn Roopnarine and Diane Bishop, whose seats fall within the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation—Nanan said he has not received any official complaint. In a news release last Wednesday, the PNM said the candidates “falsely alleged they were members of the COP at the time of their registration.”
They said this is in contradiction to EBC internal rules which say candidates must present letters from their respective political parties confirming membership. However, Nanan said: “I cannot recall of any objection coming directly. The PNM issued a media release and the Elections and Boundaries Commission subsequently issued a media release which would have addressed the concerns raised by the PNM.”
Although the local government elections will be the third election for the year, with the St Joseph by-election still to come, Nanan said the EBC was doing all possible to carry out a smooth election. “I can give that assurance that we will do everything that we can possibly do to ensure that the elections run smooth. “Every election is challenging, every election has its own peculiarities and we have to treat and deal with all these situations that arise.
“The human resource is the most valuable asset of our organisation and they have always lived up to the expectation and I’m sure that the human resource will pull through for elections within this calendar year,” Nanan said. Yesterday, the EBC distributed ballot papers to returning officers in the South West district to facilitate special voters.
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