Does Barry Padarath have the right to contest the 2020 general elections?
According to an article in today’s Express Newspaper, he may not.
Padarath is the UNC’s candidate for Princes Town and up until early last month was outside this country’s jurisdiction.
Quoting a PNM official, the report says that “For the nomination to be valid and acted upon, it has to be accompanied by a consent of the person being nominated (candidate). If the person is not in Trinidad and Tobago a consent form signed by his agent is used.”
Section 7 (3) in the Election Rules states that “no nomination paper shall be valid or shall be acted upon by the returning officer unless it is accompanied by the consent in writing of the person therein nominated or, where the person is absent from Trinidad and Tobago by the consent of his duly authorised agent expressed in duplicate in the form set out as Form No 37 or 38, as the case may be, in the prescribed Form Rules.
Form 37 is used if the candidate is signing the consent form himself, while Form 38 is used if his agent is signing on his behalf because he (the candidate) is out of the country”.
PNM officials have said Padarath’s agent signed the consent form (Form 38) which was submitted on Nomination Day. This, notwithstanding the fact that Padarath was in the country (and therefore was required to sign Form 37 himself). He was in quarantine at the time.
According to the Express article,PNM is now said to be considering mounting a legal challenge to the candidacy of Barry Padarath.