THE late-night visit to the victory celebration of deputy political leader of the United National Congress Dr Roodal Moonilal by David Manning, the son of former prime minister Patrick Manning, has come as a surprise to many.
But, according to Moonilal, the families have shared close relations for many years, and there was nothing peculiar about the meeting.
David arrived at Moonilal's constituency before 1 a.m. on Sunday, and spent half an hour with the Housing and Environment Minister.
Moonilal said yesterday he was not surprised by Manning's visit.
"I have known the Manning family for many years. We are San Fernandians together, and I have known members of the Manning family for many years, including Mr Manning senior. That's the nature of San Fernando politicians, the Saith family, the Seukerans, the Mannings and the Moonilals."
He said, "I have known David Manning and we are friends. He was in the neighbourhood on Saturday, in the Debe area, and he just popped by to offer his congratulatory remarks and to say hello and congratulate us on our landslide victory."
Moonilal said he told David he was not obliged to speak with the media that night or allow photographs.
"He indicated to me that he had absolutely no difficulty with being photographed or making a comment," said Moonilal
Regards suggestions that David would be seeking to offer himself as a candidate in the event there was a by-election for his father's San Fernando East seat, Moonilal said: "That matter to us does not arise because Mr Manning senior, we understand, is doing well and he is on a speedy return to good health. I am a constituent of Mr Manning. I look forward to my MP in the House (of Representatives) soon, and looking forward to his contributions."
Should there be a by-election, Moonilal said, "the People's Partnership would have its own mechanism (and) procedure to arrive at a candidate and anyone interested, whether they be from the Congress of the People, the UNC or the People's National Movement, once they meet the requirements, the candidate will be selected. They won't be ruled out because their name is Manning or Moonilal."