Leader of the New National Vision (NNV) party Fuad Abu Bakr has said he will be keeping his candidates a secret for as long as he can.
He was responding to a request for a list of the party’s candidates for the August 10 general election.
Bakr was speaking at a press conference on Monday to address the charges laid against him for assault and breaching the Public Health Ordinance during a protest against the police shooting of three Morvant men.
The issues are before the court and cannot be reported on until the hearing.
He said the party has 21 candidates and he is still in discussion with more people to join it.
Meanwhile the "secret" candidates have already started campaigning.
He also said, “We are working with other candidates from independent parties: one example is Errol Fabien, whom I give a full endorsement to. We have always said 21, tentatively. We are going to work and focus night and day for the next 34 days.”
Abu Bakr will contest the Port of Spain South seat against PNM’s Keith Scotland and UNC’s Curtis Orr.
In May he announced he was to be screened by the PNM for the seat. The Prime Minister later distanced himself and the party from Bakr’s comments, saying he was not a member of the PNM and hence not qualified to be a PNM candidate.
Dr Rowley said Bakr was never nominated by any party group and they had never discussed his representing the party.
“Keith will lose," Bakr predicted. "I was supposed to represent the PNM in that area until they kicked me out, and with my kicking-out they kicked out the people of Port of Spain South. I represent Port of Spain South.”
He is confident his party will win several seats because, he says, people have reached out to him asking for a “phenomenal change.”
Even without a full slate, Bakr said he needs to win only one seat to change the political landscape.
“We are presenting a political vehicle for the people of TT regardless of creed, race, colour, where they live, social status, or class. We want them to join in and get involved to further the hopes and aspirations we stand by as a party.”
He attributed the recent unity between Rasta City and Muslim gang members to his involvement in last week's protests.
“I walked Nelson Street yesterday (Sunday) and you know what women told me? That their children are playing outside and they don’t have to worry about the shooting. They thanked me because they know I have a part to play in this.”