Debe South by-election candidates file nomination papers today

UNC's Debe South by-election candidate Khemraj Sunil Seecharan. -
UNC's Debe South by-election candidate Khemraj Sunil Seecharan. -

THE February 7 by-election in Debe South seems set to be a two-horse race, with UNC candidate Khemraj Sunil Seecharan and his PNM opponent Judy Sookdeo scheduled to file their nomination papers at the Elections and Boundaries Commission's (EBC) returning office in Debe on Monday.

The Prime Minister advised President Paula-Mae Weekes of the February 7 by-election date in a statement issued by his office (OPM) on January 3.

The Debe South seat became vacant after the death of councillor Purushottam Singh on February 14, 2021. The district falls under the jurisdiction of the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation (PDRC). There are 12 polling stations in the district.

Sunil Seecharan and Sookdeo were selected by their respective parties last week. To date, no other political party or independent candidate has signalled an intention to contest the by-election. Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) leader David Abdulah doubted the party would contest Debe South as it is a traditional UNC stronghold seat.

SELECTED: Judy Sookdeo, the PNM's candidate for the Debe South by-election. -

Congress of the People (COP) leader Kirt Sinnette said the party was looking for a candidate,  but the COP has not announced any candidate to date.

The Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP) has threatened to initiate legal action against the EBC unless it changes nomination day from Monday to February 17. The PEP will hold a news conference on Monday in Port of Spain to address this issue. The EBC said it received a letter from the PEP's attorney on this matter and will respond to the party.

In the December 2019 local government elections, the UNC won all ten districts in the PDRC. The party also has four aldermen at the corporation.

In those elections, Singh convincingly defeated PNM candidate Jagessar Deodath by 2,859 to 103 votes.

In the 2019 local government elections, the PNM and UNC each won seven of the 14 local government corporations in Trinidad. The UNC holds the Chaguanas borough and Penal/Debe, Siparia, Princes Town, Sangre Grande, Mayaro/Rio Claro and Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo regional corporations. The PNM controls the cities of Port of Spain and San Fernando; Arima and Point Fortin boroughs; and San/Juan Laventille and Diego Martin regional corporations.

Local government elections are constitutionally due in Trinidad this year.


"Debe South by-election candidates file nomination papers today"

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