Local government by-elections for Lengua/Indian Walk and Quinam/Morne Diablo on June 17

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this file photo, Election and Boundaries Commission workers on duty during polling day in January 2021. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

THE by-elections in Lengua/Indian Walk and Quinam/Morne Diablo will be held on June 17.

President Christine Kangaloo issued writs of election for the two by elections on May 10.

A news release from the Office of the Prime Minister issued 8.43 pm on May 10 said, President Kangaloo issued the writs based on the advice of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

Rowley is in Ghana attending the to celebrate the Osei Tutu 11’s 25th year of ascension to the Golden Stool and reign as King of Asante.

According the writ, nomination day will be May 24 and polling day for the by elections will be June 17.

The United National Congress and People’s National Movement have officially opened nominations for both districts.

Morne Diablo/Quinam falls with the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation (PDRC), while Lengua/ Indian Walk is under the Princes Town Regional Corporation (PTRC)

Both corporations are controlled by the UNC.

In March, the Court of Appeal dismissed a petition by the UNC to stop a by-election in Lengua/Indian Walk.

Justices of Appeal Charmaine Pemberton, Vasheist Kokaram and Carla Brown-Antoine held that a single disputed ballot, favouring then UNC candidate Nicole Gopaul-Jones in the August 2023 local government elections, could not be counted because of the failure of the Election and Boundaries Commission’s returning officer to initial it.

The judges dismissed the UNC’s election petition. They ruled the election rules under the Representation of the People Act allowed for the rejection of the special ballot.

The UNC filed the petition on August 21, 2023, after two recounts led to the PNM’s candidate Autly Granthume being announced the winner over Gopaul-Jones on election night, August 14, 2023.

Quinam/Morne Diablo was declared vacant after the death of its UNC councillor Diptee Ramnath last December.

Ramnath was also chairman of the corporation.