Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Somebody will cave in—Imbert
The PNM is proposing Ronald Heera for Chaguanas mayor and the UNC will reveal its candidate by the end of the week or early next week. UNC plans to do so on the day the election for a mayor is held in the deadlocked area, UNC deputy leader Suruj Rambachan said yesterday. Local Government Minister Marlene Coudray yesterday said the Government could not rely on advice from anyone in the Chaguanas matter save the solicitor general.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan when asked yesterday about a legal opinion said to be from Local Government officials which was being circulated around northern corporations that a presiding officer’s vote can break a deadlock, said he would speak on the matter later. PNM’s Colm Imbert said the term “presiding officer” only applied in the THA.
He said in local government there was a chairman, deputy chairman, etc, and in absence of all that, members elected someone to supervise meetings. He said the election of such a person also would be stymied by the deadlock. Imbert said the PNM was not going to court, seeking to draw straws or return to the polls over the Chaguanas deadlock due to lack of law.
The party, he said, had proposed Heera, a former candidate in the 2010 general election, and councillors would have to keep voting in the mayoral election until “somebody caves in.” Imbert said the PNM was clear on the situation. He said legislation, Section 13, to draw straws was deleted in September when Government amended the Municipal Corporation Act 2013.
He added: “So elected candidates will simply have to vote to elect a mayor and they will have to keep voting until somebody caves in. We are not going to court nor do we want any return to the polls since there’s no provision in the law for all that either.” Meanwhile, UNC’s Rambachan said PNM’s Heera had some experience in Local Government “but I don’t think he has demonstrated leadership capacity.”
He said straw-pulling was done before to break a deadlock but was uncertain what would apply in the current case. ILP leader Jack Warner,who initially said he wanted Chaguanas to return to the polls, subsequently said the ILP and UNC should put aside their differences and work out the situation. ILP chairman Robin Montano said yesterday: “We got the majority of votes and should be given majority but, yes, the UNC and ILP should try to work it out.
“Our view has always been the peoples’ interest is paramount and therefore if it’s necessary to put aside our differences then we are ready and willing but terms and conditions have to be negotiated. We are always prepared to talk to anybody and everybody.” Montano said the ILP did not want to draw straws and had not discussed going to court. He said ILP at this stage would prefer returning to the polls. However, the ILP was meeting from yesterday to work out its position.
EBC CEO Ramesh Nanan said it had to inform all parties of their allotment of aldermen four days after results and that was done. Four days after, parties had to inform EBC who their aldermen were and after that EBC would formally inform corporations. Nanan added: “We are awaiting word from them.” He could not comment “at this point” on PNM’s reported request on Monday for a final check of the Moruga results.
Imbert said PNM would only go to court on that if it was unhappy with the outcome of the check. He said he had not heard from EBC on the request.
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