THE validity of three local government candidates on the Congress of the People (COP) slate may be called into question following claims yesterday that they are not registered members of the party they will represent in the October 21 elections.
COP general secretary Clyde Weatherhead denied, however, that false declarations were filed by the candidates for Caura/Paradise/Tacarigua, D’Abadie/Carapo and Five Rivers/Lopinot.
Asked yesterday about the candidacy of Sookdeo Prakash Bharath, J-Lynn Roopnarine and Diane Bishop, Weatherhead said, “There is no violation of the law. Candidates are required to have a letter showing that the party has authorised them to represent the party symbol.”
He would not say whether the COP candidates being called into question were, in fact, party members.
Weatherhead said he was also aware that a candidate in the Siparia/Debe area was representing a party of which the candidate was not a member. He would not disclose the name of that candidate or the party.
The Elections and Boundaries Commission’s (EBC) rules, 7-13, Chapter 3 “Nomination of Candidates” 6.(5), states: “Where a candidate represents a political party, a letter is presented stating that he/she is a member of the party and the candidate for the electoral district.”
And also, “A candidate stands nominated when in the case of a party candidate, he/she presents a letter from the party confirming his/her membership and stating that he/she is the candidate for the electoral district.”
COP political leader Prakash Ramadhar could not be reached for comment.
The COP presented its slate of candidates on Monday night, when the People’s Partnership held a rally to launch its local government campaign at Harris Promenade in San Fernando.