PNM, ILP present local government candidates today
By COREY CONNELLY Sunday, September 29 2013
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PNM political leader Keith Rowley....
Two political parties — the People’s National Movement (PNM) and the fledgling Independent Liberal Party (ILP) — will present their candidates during mass rallies today, ahead of the eagerly-anticipated October 21 Local Government election.
Both parties are expected to present a full slate of candidates covering the 136 electoral districts throughout the country.
The PNM, bouyed by its 12-0 victory in the January 21 Tobago House of Assembly election, heads to its old stomping ground, Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, while the ILP, led by Jack Warner, will present its candidates at Endeavour Lands, Chaguanas from 6pm.
PNM Chairman Franklin Khan said yesterday that the party screened its last two candidates on Wednesday at Balisier House and was ready for today’s presentation. The rally is scheduled to begin at 2pm.
Prior to the launch, though, the party will hold a special convention from 10 am at Balisier House to approve the candidates and the manifesto.
Khan, a former works minister and Mayaro MP, said PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley’s feature address will be the highlight of the rally. It is expected to be delivered at about 5pm.
Khan, Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Orville London, PNM public relations officer Faris Al-Rawi and Diego Martin North-East MP Colm Imbert, chairman of the party’s manifesto committee, are also expected to address supporters.
Regarding London, who is also the PNM’s Tobago Council leader, Khan said, “We will be playing up that Tobago component at the rally in line with the victory (THA election). It will be a real national unity platform.”
Khan said supporters can expect a gala celebration.
“It will be filled with good political speeches and entertainment,” he said.
“We are here to let the country know that the PNM is ready, alive and kicking big time.”
Khan said today’s launch will also start off the party’s local government campaign in earnest.
“There will be about ten to 14 national meetings in every corporation and a series of spot meetings. We will be ‘blitzing’ the country,” he said.
Sunday Newsday understands that several prominent citizens will be announced today as PNM candidates for the upcoming poll.
Among those expected to grace the stage are dentist Dr Hilary Bernard (Arima North East), Lisa Morris-Julian (Arima Central), granddaughter of former Arima Mayor Leroy Morris and Kelmon Kowlessar (Montrose), said to be the youngest cricket umpire in the region.
Kowlessar is also the son of Lalman Kowlessar, second vice-president of the TT Cricket Board and President of the TT Umpires and Scorers Council.
Other candidates include Mayaro community activist and television talk show host Kyron James (Mayaro/Guayaguayare), former President of the University of the West Indies Student Guild of Undergraduates Hillan Morean (St Ann’s River North) and attorney Sarai Andre Masaisai (Belmont North and West).
Entertainment will be provided by reigning Calypso Monarch Eric Taylor (Pink Panther) and Weston Rawlins (Cro Cro) as well as soca artistes Austin Lyons (SuperBlue) and Dexter Stewart (Blaxx).
The ILP, which was formed on July 5 as part of Warner’s campaign to retain the Chaguanas West seat in the July 29 bye-election, is also fielding 136 candidates in the election. Warner claims the party has made inroads by way of support in several PNM and UNC strongholds.
A well-placed ILP source said the line-up in today’s presentation will include a mixture of youth versus experience. It will also comprise persons of various ethnicities, he added.
“The persons who are returning to politics will be in the minority. There will be a lot of newcomers, people who have always wanted the opportunity to serve but did not get it because of the way the politics was structured,” he said.
Meanwhile, the People’s Partnership coalition Government hosts its presentation of candidates and rally, tomorrow, from 7pm at Harris Promenade, San Fernando.
The Congress of the People (COP), which was at loggerheads with the UNC over the allocation of seats for the election, is expected to announce some 50 candidates to contest electoral districts in five regional corporations.
The breakdown is as follows: Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation (15); Port-of-Spain City Corporation (12); Arima (seven); Diego Martin Regional Corporation (nine); and San Fernando Regional Corporation (seven).
Among those expected to be presented to supporters, under the banner of the COP, are talk show hosts Sherwin Williams (Caura/Paradise); Devon Welch (Tunapuna/Auzonville) and Michael Kerr (Cleaver/La Florissante).
The United National Congress will contest eight corporations: Chaguanas; Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo; Princes Town; San Juan/Laventille; Siparia; Sangre Grande; Mayaro/Rio Claro; and Penal Debe. The National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) will contest one corporation, Point Fortin.