The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) is not commenting on the United National Congress (UNC) Princes Town candidate Barry Padarath’s nomination controversy in light of threats of legal action from the People’s National Movement (PNM).
Questioned on the matter yesterday EBC Corporate Communications Manager Bobbi Rogers confirmed that an internal investigation had been launched into what took place after the PNM’s concerns were made public.
However, the body is choosing not to enter the public discourse on the matter citing the impending legal proceedings.
“In light of the PNM’s stated intentions to pursue this matter at the courts, the EBC reserves comment,” Rogers said.
The PNM is contending that Padarath used the wrong form to file his nomination.
On Monday, PNM Chairman Colm Imbert called on constituents of Princes Town not to vote for Padarath in the August 10 General Election.
He also indicated that the party intends to take legal action to challenge the nomination via the filing of an election petition.
Imbert said Padarath being in quarantine on Nomination Day (July 17) did not mean that he could not sign his consent form as required by law.
He said nothing barred him from signing the letter and having it delivered by his agent to the Returning Officer.
In the meantime though, Padarath has maintained that his candidacy is valid and is moving ahead toward election day unfazed.
Commenting on the matter Political Scientist Dr Hamid Ghany said what is happening is the PNM wants to challenge Padarath’s nomination on a technicality that arose due to COVID-19 restrictions in this country.
He said, “It will be interesting to see how this turns out.”
Dr Ghany admitted that he could not pronounce further on the matter because all the information is not yet known.
In respect of the EBC’s silence on the issue, he understands.
“If there is a threat of an election petition it makes it difficult for them to say anything, they have to be careful how they proceed now.”