An election battle is brewing in the St Augustine constituency as Congress of the People (COP) political leader Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan will now be vying for the seat.
She joins four others who say they will be contesting the St Augustine seat.
.UNC deputy political leader Khadijah Ameen
.PNM candidate Renuka Sagramsingh-Sooklal
.Businessman Inshan Ishmael as an independent candidate.
.PEP candidate Sateesh Ramsaran
The St Augustine seat has been represented by COP member Prakash Ramadhar for the past ten years.
In the 2015 general election Ramadhar got 12,606 votes, the PNM’s candidate Alisha Romano got 6,186 votes and National Coalition for Transformation (NCT) political leader Nalini Dial received 331 votes. Some 27,224 people were registered to vote in that election and there was a 70 per cent voter turnout with 19,192 votes cast.
The COP yesterday announced the four areas the party’s candidates will be contesting:
Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan — St Augustine
Lonsdale Williams — Diego Martin North East
Kurt Sinnette — Laventille West
Anthony De Four – Port of Spain North/St Ann’s West
In an interview with the Express, Seepersad-Bachan-who successfully contested the San Fernando West seat under the former People’s Partnership in 2010-said under the coalition “Better United”, Nikoli Edwards of the Progressive Party was contesting San Fernando West so she decided to contest St Augustine since she lives in Valsayn.
She said they are trying to put candidates in areas either where they live or grew up and therefore her choices would have been San Fernando West or St Augustine. The St Augustine seat is considered a UNC “safe seat”.
Seepersad-Bachan said Better United is advocating that people vote for proper representation. “Covid-19 has taught us that the world has changed and if we don’t change the way we think and vote we are going to be left behind,” she said.
“I don’t intend to go into any Cabinet, I intend to remain as a representative and change the way there is representation in the Parliament,” she added.
She said the COP will not contest beyond five seats as there is no level playing field with regard to finances and resources in the absence of campaign finance reform.