UNC loses one to PDP – former San Juan councillor Safraz Ali teams up with Duke

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UNC loses one to PDP – former San Juan councillor Safraz Ali teams up with Duke

Safraz Ali, the former UNC councillor for the Barataria/San Juan/St Joseph constituencies is now a member of Watson Duke’s Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP).

Ali, who was rejected by the UNC’s Screening team for the El Socorro/Aranguez North seat, says he’ll now be contesting that seat for Duke’s PDP party in the Local Government Election.

He revealed in a GML interview that he will be filing nomination papers on Monday morning to contest the seat on a PDP ticket. He said Duke is expected to accompany him to file his papers.

Ali submitted a resignation letter last Friday to UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and UNC general secretary Peter Kanhai.

His letter stated, “The party has over the years faced many defeats at all levels of politics, which was avoidable if the party had made different choices, however that is done and dusted. The United National Congress is no longer. The great party I joined and served. I can no longer, with good conscience remain, in an entity that has lost its moorings of service to the people.”

Ali added, “Someone from the PDP subsequently contacted me for talks and I realised their objectives are in alignment to bring better governance and representation to the people. I like the way Mr Duke is on the ground working for the people.”

Ali said that he’d supported the UNC for 28 years and was its councillor for San Juan East from 2016 to 2019.

The seat was divided by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), creating the new El Socorro/Aranguez North seat. Ali sought to contest it for the 2019 LG election but wasn’t chosen by UNC.

Ali said he remained with the UNC and again sought the candidacy for the upcoming LG poll.

Ali added, “But I was told last Tuesday that I wasn’t selected and the UNC incumbent would contest it again – even while I was born and grew up in that area, eh and the party had seen all the hard work I’d done before,” he added.