Clint Chan Tack
PNM and UNC Cunupia candidates Rasheed “Patos” Ali and Richard Sookdeo are both brimming with confidence that they can win the seat for their respective parties in the by-election on January 25.
By-elections are being held in Cunupia and four other local government districts after their former representatives were elected MPs in last August’s general election.
Cunupia was formerly represented by former Chaguanas mayor Vandana Mohit, who is now Chaguanas East MP.
Ali and Sookdeo said they filed their nomination papers without any problems on Monday.
Despite Cunupia being a traditional UNC district and the UNC controlling the Chaguanas Borough Corporation, Ali said, “On the contrary. I am very confident.”
With the PNM being in government, Ali believed the chances of the party winning the Cunupia by-election are very good.
“I am here to work on all the problems, walk the road.”
As the founder of Patos Auto Supplies, Ali said he is well known in Cunupia and surrounding communities.
“Patos is a household name in Cunupia and in the wider community.”
He added, “I have a big advantage and also as president of the Cunupia Business Chamber, what I can’t get done through central government or local government, we can quicker get things done through our chamber, because the chamber was born out of the police watch group, so we are always on community work.”
Sookdeo was equally upbeat, saying he was being ably supported by Mohit and the party.
“I feel very positive about it. I think my chances are excellent.”
Sookdeo was heartened by the support he is receiving from residents, and said Mohit was “lending her experience to the campaign.”
He said his focus is delivering basic services to residents such as clean drains and good roads.
Sookdeo added that as a former member of the Public Service, he is familiar with administrative matters and how to work with limited resources. In a statement later in the day, the PNM said its five local government by-election candidates and 12 Tobago House of Assembly candidates all filed their nomination papers without any problems.
The PNM said it is pleased to be offering a total of 17 candidates to the electorate on January 25.
The party declared, “The PNM continues to be the only national party with a true and genuine interest in the development of Tobago, and of Trinidad, which together form the one nation that is our beloved TT.”
The UNC is only contesting the five local government by-elections in Trinidad.