EBC: Go online to find aldermen
By Andre Bagoo Monday, September 23 2013
THE LISTS of candidates for aldermen for each party contesting the polls are to be published on the internet on the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) website, according to EBC chairman Dr Norbert Masson. Today marks the start of examination of nomination papers in all districts ahead of nomination day which is next Monday.
Because of the passing of the Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Act this month, the upcoming local government election will be the first ever in the country’s history conducted under a mixed system involving proportional representation. The legislation was assented by President Anthony Carmona on September 11.
The legislation calls for voters to vote directly for the councillors they want to represent them in each district. But at the same time, aldermen will be determined based on the proportion of these votes cast between the political parties. Each party is to submit to the EBC a list of potential candidates for aldermen. Voters, therefore, are expected to have a team of representatives – councillor and aldermen – in mind when they cast their ballots. In an interview with Newsday last week, Masson said the list of aldermen will be made available to the public almost as soon as it is received from the political parties on nomination day.
“That will be posted on the website,” Masson said. “As soon as we get the information it will be uploaded. It will be published almost immediately as there is no reason why this cannot happen.” The EBC’s website is: www.ebctt.com Or just Google “Elections and Boundaries Commission”. EBC returning officers yesterday announced the opening of inspection of nomination forms, a preliminary checking process by which parties can opt to ensure all their paperwork is in order ahead of nomination day next week.
Returning officer districts will be open from 9am to noon. This process of inspection is not the formal submission of nomination forms and no lists will be published.
Masson said in addition to the online internet publication of the unprecedented aldermen lists, the lists will be published in the press.
Newsday also understands the UNC last week officially changed its EBC symbol back to its traditional UNC symbol. Previously, the party battled the Chaguanas West bye-election and the surprise 2010 general election using the same “UNC-A” symbol it had registered when it formed an “alliance”. It is understood the party last week formally rectified the anomaly and the rising sun symbol — minus the A — will be used.
With a holiday this week, and the clock ticking to poll day of October 21, preparations continued apace over the weekend by all political parties in relation to the election.
Newsday understands the United National Congress (UNC) held a closed-door meeting on its own local government preparations on Saturday evening following a joint People’s Partnership meeting at the Paria Suites Hotel, La Romain. The UNC meeting was held at the Prime Minister’s private residence at Philippine to finalise the party’s own list of candidates for councillor and for aldermen ahead of Nomination Day. UNC sources said the party has completed the process.
The Congress of the People (COP) yesterday continued its screening exercise at its operations centre, Charlieville. Both parties have been in protracted negotiations over which will contest the 14 corporations. It is understood that there is some core agreement on about five of the 14 corporations but others, including the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation remain in dispute.
It is understood the UNC has already prepared its lists for all corporations, based on the number of councillors in each, as a precaution amid its negotiations with the COP. The COP is also preparing its lists on the same basis.