Debe South by-election on February 7

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A by-election in the Debe South electoral district will be held on February 7. The district falls under the jurisdiction of the UNC-controlled Penal/Debe Regional Corporation (PDRC)

A statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Monday said the PM advised President Paula-Mae Weekes of this date.

The Debe South seat became vacant after the death of councillor Purushottam Singh on February 14, 2021.

The OPM statement said Dr Rowley also advised Weekes that nomination day for the by-election will be January 17.

He has asked for the election writ for the by-election to be issued in accordance with the provisions of Section 29 of the Municipal Corporations Act.

During a protest staged as part of the UNC’s “October Revolution” (subsequently renamed the “People’s Revolution) in November, PDRC chairman Dr Allen Sammy questioned why priority was being given to the December 6, 2021 Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections over the Debe South by-election.

The PNM lost the THA elections 14-one to the PDP.

On Monday Sammy welcomed news of the February 7 by-election.

“I am looking forward to having the vacancy filled in Debe South and that the daily needs of residents are met.”

He said since Singh’s death, two other councillors have been trying to oversee the district while simultaneously attending to their respective districts.

Opposition Leader and UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar echoed Sammy’s position. Last November, she predicted victory for her party whenever the by-election is held.

Local government elections are also constitutionally due this year, having last been held in 2019. In those elections, the PNM and UNC each won seven of the 14 local government corporations in Trinidad.

The PNM controls the cities of Port of Spain and San Fernando; Arima and Point Fortin boroughs; and San/Juan Laventille and Diego Martin regional corporations. The UNC holds the Chaguanas borough and Penal/Debe, Siparia, Princes Town,Sangre Grande, Mayaro/Rio Claro and Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo regional corporations.