CANNABIS activist Nazma Muller on Friday blamed red tape for her not submitting a nomination form as an independent candidate for Arouca/Maloney seat in the August 10 general election.
On Thursday, in an online post, she was worried as to whether or not she would be able to raise the $5,000 deposit required for parliamentary candidates, which she viewed as a bar to the working class participating in politics, but those fears proved unfounded. On Friday she told Newsday she had succeeded in raising the full sum and presented herself to the local returning officer at Bon Air Village Plaza in Arouca, with the money and the names of eight constituents nominating her.
However, she said she met a problem in being told she had to get her form approved by a justice of the peace, but this proved to be a daunting task.
“I asked for an extension. She gave me until 3 pm. But the problem was to get to a JP on time.”
Saying she visited the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) office in Port of Spain on Thursday, Muller complained that neither the staff nor the nomination form had indicated beforehand that this form needed a JP’s signature.
Muller had other concerns about the nomination process. She said that EBC office had told her it had no nomination forms to give out, but these must be downloaded from online by the individual.
“They did not even allow me upstairs, but sent someone to see me.”
Muller also complained about not being told in advance that the ID card or certified copies of the ID cards of nominators must be submitted also, although saying that with enough time she could get 100 people to nominate her.
“On Monday I’m going to the EBC. If the EBC doesn’t let me on the ballot, I’ll protest outside the EBC every day.” She did not say if she had participated in the nomination dry run the week before.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story suggested that Nazma Muller was given an extension up to 5 pm. Ms Muller has said this was not the case and that she was given only until 3 pm.