Story by GAIL ALEXANDER
Mervyn Dillon is out as PNM’s Toco / Sangre Grande candidate. The constituency executive has been asked by the party to widen its pool of nominees.
And PNM’s La Brea unit has also been asked to widen its nominee pool; therefore, this afternoon’s screening for La Brea has been pushed forward to another date.
PNM PRO Laurel Lezama Lee-Sing earlier this morning briefly said the party has asked Toco S/Grande to widen its nominee pool and the same applied to La Brea. She gave no further information or response to queries.
The PNM’s screening team last week selected cricketer Mervyn Dillon for the candidacy. After complaints from some Toco quarters, the screening team reviewed the decision. The outcome was the move to ask Toco / Sangre Grande to get more nominees, effectively revoking the choice of Dillon.
Toco / Sangre Grande had presented six nominees, including an alderman, incumbent MP Glenda Jennings-Smith and activists. It was confirmed that Agricultural Society head Dhanoo Sookoo, who also had submitted a nomination, was screened for the seat.
But yesterday, party officials made it clear that not only Dillon, but all those who were screened for the seat in the first batch of nominees, were out.
It is expected that the nominees, whom the Toco unit will now find, will be screened next week.
La Brea had had four nominees to present for today’s screening. This arose after the two nominees presented last week—frontrunner, ex minister Robert le Hunte, and MP Nicole Olivierre—were not accepted by the screening team. The unit was advised to seek more nominees.
On Monday, the area’s party groups submitted votes for four people. But the executive which had supported Le Hunte continued to do so.
The four nominees got support from a total of 10 party groups out of the area’s 19 party groups. Le Hunte received support from nine. He originally commanded support from 16 of the 19 groups.
The executive now has to continue looking for nominees.
This evening (Thursday 4 June 2020) nominees for Lopinot / Bon Air West are scheduled to be screened. An initial seven people were not accepted last week. Four nominees were received this week.