The Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) has kicked its election machinery into high gear and has already identified a candidate for the impending by-election in the St Joseph constituency.
With dismissed St Joseph MP Herbert Volney’s anticipated statement today that he will exit the race, sources close to the PNM told the Express that Opposition Senator Terrence Deyalsingh is tipped to be the party’s candidate to contest the seat.
Appointed a senator in 2010, Deyalsingh lives in the Valsayn area, which is part of the St Joseph constituency. He is a clinical pharmacist by profession and also recently completed a degree in Law.
Yesterday, PNM sources revealed that Deyalsingh has been “working in the constituency for some time now, and has developed a close relationship with the constituents”.
Contacted for a comment, Deyalsingh would only tell the Express “at this point in time the issue of a by-election does not arise in my view”.
However, he added: “I continue to work with the party in any capacity it sees fit.”
The United National Congress (UNC) continues its search for a candidate to replace Volney, even as Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has appointed Minister of the Environment and Water Resources Ganga Singh to be the caretaker of the seat.
Persad-Bissessar has already stated publicly that she is prepared for any outcome, “given the probability that” the UNC “may lose that seat”.
At least one name has emerged from the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) as a potential candidate, IBN television talk show host Inshan Ishmael, although ILP interim leader Jack Warner did not confirm this.
Speaking with the Express yesterday, while working on the second draft of his media statement announcing his exit from the seat which he has held since May 2010, Volney said the UNC was dead in St Joseph.
“I predict that the PP (People’s Partnership) would not be a factor in this by-election, it will be a straight fight between the PNM and ILP and whoever captures that independent voting bloc will win the seat.”
But he gives the edge to the ILP and Warner.