Nicole Gopaul ready for a win in Lengua/Indian Walk

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

UNC Lengua/Indian Walk candidat Nicole Gopaul, centre, with Moruga MP Michelle Benjamin, second from left, and other UNC supporters after she filed her nomination papers at the Princes Town East Secondary School on May 24. – Photo by Yvonne Webb

CONTESTING the Lengua/Indian Walk electoral district for the UNC is Nicole Gopaul.

The 38-year-old administrative assistant said she had worked “with and for” the Moruga/Tableland MP Michelle Benjamin over the last four years and developed a natural love for the community and social work.

“Becoming the councillor for this district will give me the opportunity to bring meaningful development to the communities therein.”

If she wins a seat on the council of the UNC-controlled Princes Town Regional Corporation, Gopaul hopes to tackle issues of infrastructure like landslips, bad roads and water shortages. She also aims to tackle social issues like unemployment.

All this, she said, would be done through lobbying the relevant authorities to address them.

Gopaul said the choice to run on a UNC ticket stemmed from her confidence in the party.

“In my humble view, the UNC is the only political party that has the capacity and capabilities to properly govern this country, not to forget the love and cohesive attributes displayed by the UNC.”

In 2023, Gopaul tied with People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate Autly Granthume. Initial counts put Granthume on top with 1,430 votes compared to Gopaul’s 1,425. But after two recounts, each candidate received 1,428 votes.

The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) rejected a special ballot which the UNC claimed was a vote for Gopaul, and which would have broken the deadlock. Despite mounting a challenge at the courts for it to be counted, the UNC’s case was dismissed and fresh elections called.

In June 17’s election, Gopaul will once again go up against Granthume and independent candidate Peterson Marinus Morales. She views her return to the campaign trail as another chance to know her future burgesses.

“Having to run again gave me the opportunity to connect with the residents of the district, and so I have formed a greater bond that is to last for a lifetime. In addition, the bond that has been created between the residents and myself gives me a greater sense of belonging, as I am confident in their support.”

She believes the stronger bond will make the difference in her favour in the upcoming return to the polls. But unlike her last attempt, this election will have an independent candidate.

“An independent candidate will not affect the outcome of my win, as I am confident that the residents of Lengua/Indian Walk are in support of the UNC candidate.”