EBC confirms UNC win in Marabella West

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

UNC Political Leader Kamla and John Michael Alibocus at the party’s rally in San Fernando on Saturday ahead of the local government elections. PHOTO: ANGELO MARCELLE –

THE Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) on Thursday confirmed the Opposition UNC’s victory over the PNM in the Marabella West district in Monday’s local government elections.

The elections ended in a 7-7 tie between the PNM and UNC.

The 2017 elections ended in a 7-7 deadlock as well.

The PNM retained control of the San Fernando City Corporation on Monday by a margin of 5-4. In 2019, the PNM retained it by a 6-3 margin.

Marabella West is one of nine local government districts under the corporation

In a statement, the EBC said the recount in Marabella West was over.

The final result was 955-927 in favour of the UNC. The party’s candidate John Michael Gabriel Alibocus received one less vote than the total recorded on Monday.

His PNM rival Jameela Marryshow-St Hill received one more vote.

The status quo was unchanged.

Earlier in the week, the UNC’s Sacha Ali was confirmed as the winner in the Marabella South/ Vistabella seat after a recount for that seat. Her PNM opponent, Marcus Girdharrie, won the seat for the UNC in 2019.

On Tuesday, EBC chief election officer Fern Narcis-Scope received 14 requests from the PNM and UNC for recounts after Monday’s elections.

Three are still to be completed.

One is in the Lengua/Indian Walk seat, which the PNM won on Monday, giving the party a lone seat in the UNC-controlled Princes Town Regional Corporation, after an absence there of several years.

The last time the PNM had a presence in that corporation was between 1996 and 1999, when Godfrey Lee Sing was the councillor for Moruga.

Preliminary results on Monday showed the PNM winning the district 1,430 to 1.425. The UNC requested a recount.

On Wednesday, the recount for the district resulted in the PNM and UNC being tied with 1,428 votes each.

In its statement, the EBC said a second recount for Lengua/Indian Walk would take place later on Thursday.

This recount will be conducted in accordance with Election Rule 101 (13) of the Representation of the People Act. This rule says, “Where a final count results in an equality of votes between or among the candidates obtaining the most votes, the chief election officer or an officer designated by him for the purpose shall conduct a recount not later than four days after the closing of the poll.”

Recounts are ongoing in the Arima Northeast and Maracas/Santa Margarita districts.

The final local government election results will only become available once all outstanding recounts are completed.

After this, the councillors and aldermen of the respective corporations will be sworn in.

At that time, decisions will be made on the appointment of the mayors or chairmen of corporations.