NATIONAL shotputter Cleopatra Borel has thrown her shot put into the political arena. Newsday received a copy of a signed letter, dated March 27, from Borel to PNM general secretary Foster Cummings.
In the letter, Borel said, “It is after deep introspection that I give consent to be nominated as a candidate for the PNM, in the service of the people of Barataria/San Juan, in the next general election.” She promised to “work tirelessly to earn the support of the people of Barataria/San Juan and the executive of the PNM.”
Borel concluded, “It is an honour to be considered as a viable candidate for this position.”
Borel, 41, is a four-time Olympian competing at the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 games. She has earned multiple medals at both the Commonwealth Games and Central American and Caribbean Games.
When contacted on Wednesday, Borel confirmed the letter and its contents were authentic.
Cummings said the PNM had extended the deadline for the submission of nominations for this year’s general election to April 30.
Cummings added that the PNM has suspended the screening of nominees because of the covid19 pandemic and the public health regulations implemented to prevent its spread.
PNM youth officer Ndale Young, who was selected as the party’s prospective candidate for Barataria/San Juan last August, welcomed Borel’s nomination. He said it was unprecedented for the PNM to select candidates a year ahead of a general election. Last year, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat and Daniel Dookie were chosen as the party’s candidates for Chaguanas East and Pointe-a-Pierre, respectively.
Young said nominations are open for all constituencies, including Barataria/San Juan, and he welcomed Borel coming forward.
“I feel proud that in the midst of this pandemic, someone of her calibre comes forward and offers herself for public service,” Young said. He said Borel’s achievements as an athlete are well known. Young was also heartened that Borel chose the PNM as the vehicle for her to serve the country.
He added the PNM has well-established structures for screening candidates.