Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 18th 2015 Contents A5
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
As former prime minister Patrick Man-
ning celebrated his 69th birthday yester-
day, caravans of political supporters rolled
into his San Fernando East constituency
with their candidates who are seeking to
replace him as MP.
It was almost a Carnival atmosphere as
scores of people converged at the San Fer-
nando East Secondary School where the
Election and Boundaries Commission s
Returning Officer accepted the nominations
from Manning s three potential successor,
the People s National Movement (PNM) s
Randal Mitchell, the Congress of the People
(COP) s Ashaki Scott and the Independent
Liberal Party (ILP) s Ricardo Lee Sing.
A walkabout with a music truck accom-
panied Mitchell to the school where he, San
Fernando mayor Kazim Hosein and sup-
porters said a special prayer for Manning,
who represented the constituency for the
past 44 years. Scott also wished Manning
happy birthday during an interview.
Mitchell s opportunity comes after Man-
ning bowed out from politics as he is still
ailing from a stroke he suffered in 2011.
Acknowledging that he had big boots to
fill, Mitchell said the transition from Man-
ning to himself was a smooth one, which
assured him of victory on September 7. He
said voting in San Fernando East has always
"I am succeeding him. San Fernando East
has always been a very disciplined con-
stituency, we are a proud PNM constituency
and the transition has been smooth. Mr
Manning has assisted us, he has assisted
me but more so the constituency members
have assisted and supported me. I feel con-
fident, I am backed by a sound political
party, 60 years strong, a stable political
party and I have all the guidance that I
need," Mitchell said.
Responding to the Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar s boast that the People s
Partnership candidates were superior to the
PNM s slate, Mitchell said the PNM was
not about fighting personalities but ideolo-
gies. He said their ideology was that the PP
was about poor governance, deceit, lies and
propaganda, which they will conquer on
Birthday greetings for former MP
Fresh faces for Sando East
Smooth process for PP candidates
PM relies on
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said
the National Security Council has put measures
in place to ensure free and fair elections without
thuggery and violence.
Speaking in Penal with members of the media
after she filed her nomination papers as a can-
didate to contest the Siparia seat yesterday after-
noon, the prime minister said they have increased
security in the country from now right up until
Carnival next year.
"So we have called out the reserves, we are
on high alert to ensure we have free and fair
elections without thuggery and violence."
"We are putting every measure in place so
you can go out there and exercise your franchise
to vote without fear of any kind of violence or
She said the Minister of National Security
Brigadier Carl Alfonso and the National Oper-
ations Centre will continue to monitor the sit-
uation. In addition, Persad-Bissessar said she
has invited both the Caricom and the Com-
monwealth Secretariat to send a team of observers
to observe the September 7 general elections.
"The Commonwealth Secretariat came on a
mission for us, as a fact finding mission and the
Caricom people will also be here. So I am putting
everything in place to ensure free and fair election.
That is what we are about. That is what my
government is about to do everything I can to
ensure free and fair election."
Persad-Bissessar said while she was taking
precautions to ensure there was no violence,
she said she was not scared because TT has a
strong tradition of democracy.
She said all 41 candidates selected had suc-
cessfully filed nominations and thanked the
Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC)
for conducting a smooth process.
"I want to congratulate and thank the EBC,
I have no reports of any untoward incidents. I
am also happy all 41 candidates of the PP have
filed nominations. So all 41 are in, 41 winning
Responding to selection of Rushton Paray,
one day after Roger Morales was named as the
successor to Winston Gypsy Peters for the
Mayaro seat, Persad-Bissessar said she took into
consideration concerns expressed.
"There were some concerns and the executive
and the activists were of the view that Mr Paray
would be the better candidate, so we accom-
modated them. I always say I listen and then
lead and so I listened that is why we made the
The prime minister also denied rumours cir-
culating during the day that the PP s Pointe-
a-Pierre candidate David Lee was rejected
because he had dual citizenship with the United
States. "No, he does not have dual citizenship.
What he does have is a Green Card and under
our constitution he is entitled to file for the
seat." She said when the allegations first surfaced
she spoke with Lee and he assured her that he
had no dual citizenship.
On the issue of former Senate President Raziah
Ahmed contesting the San Fernando West seat,
Persad Bissessar said there was nothing in law
to debar her from this process.
"People are saying she cannot run. Consti-
tutionally that is not so. According to the law
we have done what is necessary under Section
43 of the Constitution."
She said under that section, if the President
of the Senate or any member of the Senate con-
sent to be a candidate, the Constitution says
that person shall vacate their seat.
"I have taken the steps, the former Senator
has consented to be a candidate, I have written
His Excellency the President under Section 43
and there is no bar, There is no disqualification
for Mrs Raziah Ahmed to be a candidate and
the winning candidate for San Fernando West."
Parliament announced yesterday that Ahmed
resigned as Senate President on Friday, hours
before she was announced as a UNC candidate.
FOREIGN RESERVES MONITORED
She appealed to citizens not to be overly
alarmed by the issue of foreign reserves.
She said this was an area that was always of
concern, but the situation was being monitored
and there was no reason for alarm.
She said newspaper reports last week that
Republic Bank had stopped the sale of all foreign
currency turned out to be erroneous and the
paper had to come back and say that was not
She also shied away from commenting on
critical statements about this country and
government made by two former US
congressman and governor who spoke on the
PNM's platform at Woodford Square last
"The PNM could bring from the US, they can
bring from anywhere else in the world, at the end
of the day, the poll will be done by the people of
TT and I have the confidence the people of TT
will make the best choice on September 7 and
that choice will be for the PP."
Supporters of PNM's San Fernando East candidate Randall Mitchell make their way to the
Pleasantville East Secondary School to witness the filing of their candidate's nomination
papers yesterday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
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