COUVA North MP Ramona Ramdial on Friday expressed confidence that UNC supporters would help her retain her constituency in the upcoming general elections, when told the PNM on Thursday had screened three nominees for a candidate.
These included retired police inspector Michael Seales, former head of the Police Social and Welfare Association (PSWA). The other two were Romando Gautamnath Rampersad and Sharda Satram.
“Whoever is successful out of the candidates will get a beating. His cut tail is sealed,” Ramdial quipped to Newsday.
“Couva North is a UNC safe seat and they will be beaten.”
Ramdial said in 2015 the UNC had won the seat with 14,000 votes to the PNM’s tally of 6,000. “By a clear margin it is a UNC safe seat. I wish him well and welcome him.”
She said she was quite surprised to see Seales, as a retired police officer with a long history of dealing with and bashing politicians, now throw his hat into the political ring.
“I wasn’t even aware he lived in the constituency. He’s from Roystonia.”
Ramdial claimed she had not seen Seales being very active in the constituency.
She was not worried about any PNM challenge in the constituency for which she is yet to be screened.
“We have really been working here, especially with the covid19 situation. We are out every week. As an Opposition MP you really don’t get much in terms of resources such as infrastructure.”
She said she serves all who come to her office for help whatever their political background.
“I do not put on a political hat for people who genuinely need the help.
“I’ve been very vocal for my constituents. The PNM probably said, ‘She’s been shouting on crime, so let’s put a police officer.’ But the UNC’s support is solid and this time we’ll get more than 14,000 votes.”
Seales at Friday on midday, told Newsday he had not heard any result, but promised to talk to us later.
He was on the PSWA executive during the “day of total policing” of March 2015. In 2016 he was charged with sedition and suspended for saying the then PP government wanted to provoke the police so as to declare a state of emergency and delay the 2015 general election, but the case was dismissed by then deputy chief magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle. At midday Friday, PNM PRO Laurel Lezama told Newsday the party was still collating the views of members of the party’s screening committee.
The committee had split into two groups at Balisier House and Queens Hall respectively to evaluate nominees for five constituencies. These included Moruga/Tableland, Naparima, Siparia, Tabaquite and Fyzabad.
Meanwhile, there were reports on Friday morning that Port of Spain South MP Marlene Mc Donald had withdrawn her candidacy, although when we twice called her she said she was in a meeting and would talk to us later.