All incumbent UNC MPs, with the exception of two, will seek to contest the 2020 general elections, according to San Juan/Barataria MP Dr Fuad Khan.
Khan, who initially had bowed out of the election, has changed his mind and will be seeking re-election in the key marginal seat.
The party has already confirmed two candidates for the San Fernando West and St Ann's East constituencies and is expected to announce the names of others at a public meeting in Claxton Bay on Monday.
The UNC – which has been in power twice before – the last time as the coalition People's Partnership has not made any announcement about whether it intends to join with any other political entity in the 2020 polls. The St Augustine MP Prakash Ramadhar won the election under a Congress of the People banner in 2015.
UNC senator Sean Sobers will run for San Fernando West, which is held by incumbent Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi who secured the seat for the People's National Movement, while Kenya Charles will contest the St Ann's East seat, currently held by Community Development Minister Nyan Gadsby-Dolly.
The UNC currently holds 17 seats and have called on candidates to contest 25 of the 41 seats up for grabs. Therefore, if the 15 current MPs seek re-election then the party will only have to seek a candidate for one more constituency.
Tabaquite MP Dr Suruj Rambachan has announced that he was stepping down from active politics and will not be offering himself for re-election and Chaguanas West MP Ganga Singh had also decided to bow out of politics.
When Sunday Newsday contacted Singh, who returned from Guyana on Friday, Singh said the path the party had chosen was not one he could adhere to.
Singh has been in politics since 1976.
"There are differences between the (political) leader and I as to the path to change this regime and I have demonstrated that with the attempt to change the direction with the resolution for change before the congress which was never debated. I have therefore taken a position where I wish everybody well. I remain a UNC, but I have chosen not to participate to become an elected official. I may have some other role to take, but I don't agree with their way forward. I am clear in what we have to do"
Asked what was in store for his future, Singh said: "I have health, I have family and we will see what doors open."
Asked if he could be a consultant for the party, Singh just laughingly responded, "You give me such a high role."
The San Juan/Barataria MP told Sunday Newsday while he was willing to contest the seat it was up to the constituency's executive to determine whether he can go back up.
"I was going to bow out, but after seeing the mess the country is in I decided that look, I can't jeopardise my seat. So at the end of the day I decided that even though my initial utterances were that I want to go, everybody has to put their shoulders to the grindstone to get this country moving again. The rest of my colleagues have already said that would be going up again, they have already sent in their nomination forms," Khan said on Friday.
He said the UNC will release the name of its candidates over a period of time.
Deputy political leader Khadijah Ameen said she could not name all those who have already filed their nomination papers.
She said general secretary Davendranath Tancoo was the one who had the information on all those who have already filed.
"It is not information that is shared with the parliamentary arm. It is only shared with the screening committee at the time of screening, so I will not be able to tell you as a matter of record who filed or who did not file. The persons themselves will have to indicate publicly whether they filed or not, it is not information that we reveal."
Asked about MPs who decided to bow out of the election, Ameen said Rambachan was the only confirmed MP.
"Dr Rambachan made his public statement and in his statement he indicated that there were some other MPs who, in his private discussion, said that they would follow suit. But I am not aware of anyone making any public statement, so you would have to get individual statements from MPs about who is going back and who is not."
Ameen said the screening committee will continue to meet and make announcements as they go on. She also said she could not guarantee that an announcement will be made on Monday naming other candidates.
"If an MP wishes to tell you whether they filed or not they can do that, but a party will not be able to say because that information is confidential according to the Constitution."
List of current UNC MPs
Lackram Bodoe – Fyzabad
Rodney Charles – Naparima
Vidia Guyadeen-Gopeesingh – Oropouche West
Dr Tim Gopeesingh – Caroni East
Rudranath Indarsingh – Couva South
Fazal Karim – Chaguanas East
Dr Fuad Khan – Barataria/San Juan
David Lee – Pointe-a-Pierre
Dr Roodal Moonilal – Oropouche East
Christine Newallo-Hosein – Cumuto/Manzanilla
Barry Padarath – Princes Town
Rushton Paray – Mayaro
Kamla Persad-Bissessar – Siparia
Dr Surujrattan Rambachan – Tabaquite
Ramona Ramdial – Couva North
Ganga Singh – Chaguanas West
Bhoendradatt Tewarie – Caroni Central