Michelle Benjamin.jpg

‘hometown girl’: Michelle Benjamin...selected for Moruga/Tableland seat.

THE United National Congress (UNC) is ready for the general election this year and will have the best line-up of candidates, says Opposition Senator Anita Haynes.

She said the party has screened 20 candidates and will complete its selection of 19 others soon.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-­Bissessar is expected to announce the names of several general election candidates tonight at a UNC virtual meeting.

So far, the party has named five candidates:

• Ahloy Hunte—St Joseph

• Michelle Benjamin—Moruga/Tableland

• Sean Sobers—San Fernando West

• Taharqa Obika—Point Fortin

• Kenya Charles— St Ann’s East.

In a telephone interview yester­day, Haynes said people for 12 constituencies were screened on Tuesday.

The UNC will not be contesting the two electoral seats in Tobago, so a total of 39 candidates will be fielded in Trinidad.

Haynes said the party was in full swing as it prepares for the polls and candidates are already on the ground, lending assistance to people in need.

No worries about Gypsy

Questioned about former People’s Part­nership minister Win­ston “Gypsy” Peters being chosen by the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) to contest the Moruga/Tableland seat, Haynes noted UNC candidate Michelle Benjamin was a councillor for Hindustan/St Mary’s and a “hometown girl” born and raised in the constituency.

Haynes said Benjamin was committed to the improvement of the constitu­ency.

She said the UNC was focused on community building and selec­ted people with strong connections to their community and competence and passion to do the job.

“We really haven’t given any thought to the PNM candidate in the area. You just hear the noise about their selection process; they seem to be putting people in pla­ces without hearing from the people what kind of representation they want,” Haynes said.

The UNC’s plans will be rolled out at virtual meetings and also on the ground.

She said the first virtual meeting last Thursday was successful and all Covid-19 guidelines were met.

“It allowed us to get our message across to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and we are happy to be at the forefront of political communication, given what the global pandemic has changed in terms of face-to-face interaction,” she said.

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