Former Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte

The four PNM La Brea nominees who recently received a level of party group support for the candidacy will be screened by the party tomorrow, although the La Brea executive still stands behind initial nominee Robert Le Hunte.

However, chairman of the La Brea unit Wayne Wood confirmed yesterday that Le Hunte can’t be screened again since he was screened last week and wasn’t approved.

This was after Wood sent the results of Monday’s meeting where party groups voted on the four nominees to PNM’s Balisier House headquarters. Wood said Le Hunte still retained majority party group support.

The nomination issue is still simmering in La Brea after Le Hunte was rejected by the screening team last week. Incumbent MP Nicole Olivierre wasn’t accepted either and the executive was advised to expand its search. Le Hunte was the unit’s recommended nominee after receiving support from 16 of 19 party groups.

Subsequently, Wood said about 14 people wanted to apply for nomination but only four got party groups’ support. On Monday groups voted on the four.

The support received was: Shivonne David-Spencer (six party groups), Maurice Alexander (one party group), Neil Derrick (one party group) and Germaine Bovell- Pitt (two party groups). Altogether, the support the four received – totalling 10 party groups – is more than what Le Hunte now holds. Wood said Le Hunte was still being supported by nine groups, plus the 24-member executive voted 21-3 to continue backing him. He said three executive members were absent on Monday.

“We’ve followed the screening team’s instruction to get more nominees. People received certain party group support but the other four nominees weren’t favoured by us. Since they received some measure of party group support, they’ll be screened by the party,” Wood said.

“But we (the executive) met on the matter and we remain solidly behind who we feel is the best candidate – we’re still behind Robert. We go forward with confidence we’ll find a solution by (tomorrow’s screening). It’s an internal party issue. I’m sure it’ll be settled amicably in the party in T&T’s best interests.”

Meanwhile, Lopinot Bon Air West will also face screening tomorrow with eight people. Mayaro finalised a nominee on Monday after its initial two didn’t make it. The new nominee is former netballer Bridget Adams, it’s confirmed.