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First time in 24 years: PNM gets Les Efforts West

Trinidad Express / Anderson Williams has been elected the PNM’s local government representative for the electoral district of Les Efforts West/La Romaine, a seat the party had fought to control for 24 years. Williams contested the electoral district in the 2013 local government elections but lost to then-Congress of the People (COP) candidate Bishop Jankee Raghunanan by 23 votes. Last night, he was announced victorious before hundreds of PNM supporters gathered at Skiffle Pan Theatre, Coffee Street, San Fernando. Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein declared that all nine seats in the San Fernando City Corporation were secured by the PNM by 8 p.m. In the previous council the PNM held eight seats while the COP had one. Addressing party supporters Hosein said, “In 2013 when we were announcing the results someone by the name of Anderson Williams lost by 23 votes. Anderson cried on the stage right here, he cried and I felt sorry for him. I was to specially acknowledge him tonight and his campaign manager Junia Regrello.” Hosein said he requested that Anderson contest the seat again in the 2016 local government elections. “He humbled himself and took a back seat for three years. I called him a night and he came and met me in the car. I said I want you to run for Les Efforts West/La Romaine. He said he has to talk to his parents and that is a good sign because he is a young man and he is not making decisions on his own. He said I want to go but I must get the authority from my parents,” he said. Hosein, former mayor of San Fernando, said as leader of the team he ensured that a lot of work was done in the city. He said the mayor’s office six moved to downstairs at the City Hall to facilitate wheelchair bound and other disabled persons. He admitted that the corporation focused on the Les Efforts West/La Romaine district which may have been the reason for the PNM’s success at the polls last night. ‘Listen to the people’ Hosein told the new members of the San Fernando city council to listen to what the people were saying and to never neglect them. “I remind councillors that they have one go back to the people who voted for them and not forget them because after three years they would not want you back. I am advising you all tonight that you ask go into office to serve the people, to serve the citizens who elected you. This is very important, do not forget to answer your phones, go to your offices and visit them,” he said. He said the councillors were going into the corporation as a team and should support whoever was selected as mayor and deputy mayor. “If you want to quarrel and disagree there is something called a caucus, you can follow that respectfully. But please give respect to the leader of the team. I led that team and I am talking from experience,” he said. Remembering the late former prime minister Patrick Manning, Hosein said Manning had always said, “that the almighty God give me two ears and one mouth for a reason – to hear more and talk less”. And he repeated the advice he received from prime minister Dr Keith Rowley, “He said the hardest thing in life is to know and once you know you can deal with any situation.” Anderson’s campaign manager Junia Regrello said the Les Efforts West/La Romaine seat was not an easy fight. “As a matter of fact it’s the first time we won that seat in Gulf View in 24 years. We have created history, Gulf View has always been difficult to win. But we threw the PNM force and machinery to win,” he said.

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