PNM La Brea candidate Steve McLetchie sanitises his hands ahead of going before the party’s screening committee at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, yesterday.

Gail Alexander

Finally, the People’s National Movement’s La Brea constituency now has a candidate and it’s Lake Asphalt director Steve McLetchie.

McLetchie was selected by the party’s screening team last night after a screening session at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s

Although the executive had received seven nominations last week, one nominee – Jason Joseph – withdrew and recently-tipped frontrunner, North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) chairman Steve de Las dropped out hours before yesterday’s screening.

Following the screening exercise, PNM La Brea executive chairman Wayne Wood told Guardian Media, “The party’s processes have worked and worked very well – we now have a mutually agreed-upon candidate for La Brea and the work starts from (today). We hit the ground.”

McLetchie, of Dow Village, a procurement consultant, is currently a consultant with the National Gas Company. His selection ended the recent impasse where the executive repeatedly backed former minister Robert Le Hunte and was sent back three times to seek nominees.

The La Brea’s exercise completed PNM’s screening of nominees for all of the 41 seats. The PNM began screening in May and candidates are already out campaigning. Government’s term ends in September.

Also last night, PNM Port-of-Spain South ex-officio members met PNM leadership to discuss their “disenchantment with candidate Cleopatra Borel, whom they’ve said isn’t from the area and isn’t known there. A co-ordinator’s been appointed for PoS South’s campaign.

UNC candidate facing picture issue

United National Congress officials said yesterday that they were dealing with an issue concerning pictures linked to one of their candidates.

On Monday in the Senate, UNC Senator Kadijah Ameen claimed that with impending elections there’s a “threat” of attempts to intimidate candidates – especially women- and for parties to buy images from aggrieved people and threaten to expose images of the candidates.

“I encourage anyone who wants to do this to desist,” Ameen said.

Checks yesterday confirmed the matter involves one of UNC’s recently announced candidates. But UNC officials said the young candidate is a strong person and the issue would be dealt with.

Also yesterday, UNC Oropouche East MP Roodal Mooonilal said he’s “cautiously optimistic” he’ll find favour after last week’s screening for the seat. Moonilal was among incumbents screened last Wednesday.

“It’s a highly private and confidential exercise. We’re cautiously optimistic we’ll find favour. In the coming days, a process has to be followed. I’m sure when that process is completed, the appropriate announcement would be made,” he said.

Moonilal retained the seat in 2015 elections with about 15,000 votes.