The race for the coveted St Joseph constituency has caused two friends to fall out, sources have told the Sunday Express.
The two are attorney Om Lalla,
who it is speculated is the Independent Liberal Party’s (ILP) candidate for the November 4 by-election in St Joseph, and Crime Watch talk show host Ian Alleyne, who has already appeared on a United National Congress (UNC) platform, amid claims he is being looked at favourably for the seat.
While Lalla did not deny the split
between them, he refused to divulge any information about his long-standing relationship with Alleyne.
“I really don’t want to comment on this,” the affable Lalla said. He added, however, he would be really “surprised” if Alleyne decided to enter politics.
Lalla would often accompany Alleyne while Alleyne referred matters involving members of the audience to Lalla for advice and follow-up.
In fact, when Alleyne was charged for breaching the Sexual Offences Act in April last year and for resisting arrest, it was Lalla who represented him.
The Sunday Express could not reach Alleyne for comment about the alleged break-up over the St Joseph seat, but sources said Lalla felt betrayed since he was banking on Alleyne’s support should he be the eventual candidate for the ILP.
Asked if he was the ILP’s choice, Lalla would only say “the situation is fluid”.
He said he is vocal about politics and would come out and declare his hand openly if the time comes.
He admitted however, “My name has been out there for the last month because of my relationship with Mr Warner; people are merely speculating.”
Lalla added he has been down the St Joseph seat street before and recalled that in 2000, he was named for the seat by then UNC political leader Basdeo Panday.
“I had gone through all the preliminary preparations, but Mr Panday, in his wisdom, chose Carlos John for the seat.
So I have a lot of history; I have worked the constituency before. I was young, eager to get in at the time...but we will just have to wait and see,” he said.
Dr Carson Charles, meanwhile, said he stands ready to serve but has not been nominated by the St Joseph constituents for screening. At a political meeting recently, Warner said Charles was the UNC candidate.
Charles is the political leader of the defunct National Alliance for Re-
construction (NAR) and was a for-
mer works minister. He is currently
president of the National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco), which is overseeing the construction of the controversial Point Fortin to Golconda highway.
“I have to thank Mr Warner for keeping my name in the news, but the truth of the matter is that there is a process which invites nomination, and after all these years, if people still consider me worthy of nomination, then what can I say. I have not signed any nomination papers as yet. The process is you have to be first nominated by some group, and I have not been by anybody at this time.”
He said at the end of the day, it is what the people in the area want.
“I am currently running Nidco and doing my duty, trying to build the highway. I will continue until it’s done,” he said.
Last month, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced
November 4 as the day for the by-elec-
tion, which was triggered by former MP Herbert Volney’s resignation from the UNC to join the ILP.
The Constitution states if an MP resigns from the party in which he was elected, the Speaker has the authority to declare that seat vacant.
People’s National Movement (PNM) sources have already identified Senator Terrence Deyalsingh as the party’s strongest candidate to contest the seat, but Mariano Browne, a banker, and former PNM minister of finance and trade, has also been mentioned as a possible candidate.
Entertainer and TV personality Errol Fabien has indicated he will run as an independent.