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Ian vs Om: The hunt is on for St Joseph
With minutes to go before nominations close for the November 4 St Jospeh by-election, five candidates have emerged to contest the seat.
Ian Alleyne, host of CNC3 TV's Crime Watch, is the Peoples Partnership (PP) candidate. CNC3 is part of the Guardian Media Limited group, which includes the Guardian newspapers.
Up to late last night, Alleyne had not been identified as the candidate although Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was expected to name the PP's choice when she was speaking at a PP rally in Sangre Grande after 10 pm.
However, shortly after 11 am, Alleyne was seen at the office of the Returning Officer, Aranguez Main Road, accompanied by the Minister of Water Resources and the Environment Ganga Singh and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan. Up to early afternoon, he had not yet re-emerged from the office and was presumed to be in the process of filing his nomination papers.
On March 18 this year, Alleyne was ordered to pay a total of $30,000 in fines for airing a video showing the rape of a teenage girl on three separate occasions during his Crime Watch programme, which was at that time aired on CCN TV6 in October of 2011, showed the rape of a 13-year-old girl, resulting in her identification.
Alleyne remains eligible to contest the seat in spite of the conviction.
Alleyne's former attorney in the matter, Om Lalla, was last night named the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) candidate by the party's interim political leader Jack Warner, also Lalla's client. The Guardian reported on September 20 that Lalla was tipped for the post.
The People's National Movement (PNM) named Senator Terrence Deyalsingh as its candidate last week.
Comedian and radio personality Errol Fabien, who launched his campaign yesterday, this morning filed his nomination papers at the EBC's office in Aranguez. The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), who will not field a candidate, has endorsed Fabien.
Michael Lopez will contest the seat for the DNA.
The deadline for filing of nomination documents is 3 p.m.