PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The main opposition United National Congress (UNC) has named 41 candidates to contest the August 10 general elections, replacing at least 10 members of the outgoing Parliament.
The party, which won 18 seats in the last general elections, has named former Trinidad and Tobago football captain, David Nakhid, who will contest the marginal Tunapuna seat that was won by Esmond Forde of the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM).
Prior to the announcement of the election date, opposition legislators, former transport and communications minister, Suruj Rambachan, former education minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh, former public utilities minister Ganga Singh and former health minister Dr Fuad Khan, had announced that they would not be facing the electorate.
Among those being side lined for the election next month are former planning and development minister Dr. Bhoe Tewarie and former junior finance minister Rudy Indarsingh.
In a statement, the party said that “it is ready to return good governance to Trinidad and Tobago,” under the leaders of Kamla Persad Bissessar, who had been voted out of office in 2015 after heading a coalition People’s Partnership administration in which the UNC was the major party.
“The mix of skills and resources amongst this group has been aligned to our economic transformation plan, where they can find a space and a place where they can all contribute,”Persad Bissessar said at the unveiling of the candidates on Sunday, adding “I am inspired by their commitment to country, and their determination to work toward a better future.”
The UNC said that it was “looking forward to a good, clean fight, allowing the people of our country to vote based on the policies that will benefit Trinidad and Tobago.
The PNM is expected to unveil its full slate at a later date after the party was forced on Sunday to withdraw one of its candidates, retired Brigadier General Ancil Antoine from the list candidates to be presented to the central executive on Monday because of statements he made critical of the United States.
Nomination Day is July 17.