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Sunday 21 July 2019
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[UPDATED] PNM’s Roberts ready to serve in local gov’t again

People's National Movement start screening for upcoming local government elections, prospective candidates appear before General Counsil, for the San Juan/ Laventille district, Balisier House, Port of Spain. 

Photo: Roger Jacob
People's National Movement start screening for upcoming local government elections, prospective candidates appear before General Counsil, for the San Juan/ Laventille district, Balisier House, Port of Spain. Photo: Roger Jacob

INCUMBENT chairman of the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation (SJLRC) Anthony Roberts has declared he is prepared to serve another term in office, if this is the wish of the People's National Movement's (PNM) leadership.

He made this statement to reporters during screening of local government election candidates for the SJLRC at Balisier House in Port of Spain on Wednesday night.

"Once the party is comfortable and they want me to serve, I am always willing to serve. I have been in the politics for quite some time and I 've been serving at different levels," he said.

Roberts was St Ann's East MP and labour minister in the former Patrick Manning administration. He was also confident that most of the incumbent PNM councillors in the corporation would be given to nod to stand for re-election.

"I've worked with them for two terms. We have developed an excellent team."

Roberts was also eagerly looking forward to the implementation of local government reform, legislation on which is currently before Parliament.

In the SJLRC, the PNM controls ten districts while the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) holds the remaining three. The PNM has four aldermen on the corporation and the UNC one.

Roberts was optimistic the PNM could win all three UNC districts.

Incumbent councillors Kwesi Antoine (Caledonia/Upper Malick) and Eldon Coker (Fabeau/Bourg Mulatresse) shared his optimism.

Coker said the three districts held by the UNC had not been abandoned by the PNM and was confident the party would win them.

He was pleased to see the number of young people offering themselves as nominees.

"At the end of the day the democracy of the party is at work."

Coker said he would abide by whatever decision the PNM makes on his selection as a candidate. "I trust in the leadership of the party."

Antoine said it was "good to see a lot of people offering themselves up for the PNM,” adding, "It shows there is growth and the future of the party is in a safe place."

Ancilla Kirby, who was screened for St Barb's/Chinapoo, was happy with how her screening went.

"We are here to reach out and give back," she said, and if chosen as candidate, she wanted to work with groups in the community on issues such as education and employment.

Alderman Sudhir Sagramsingh said he offered himself to be nominated for Maracas Bay/Santa Cruz/

La Fillette, as the incumbent, Lyndon Lara, had said he will not be standing for re-election.

On her Facebook page, Kimberly Small said her screening as candidate for Barataria was successful. Small contested that seat in the July 16, 2018 by-election, but was narrowly defeated by the UNC's Sharon Maraj-Dharam.

This story was updated to correct the district for which Ancilla Kirby was screened.

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