The ruling PNM and the united Opposition force (UNC/TOP/MSJ) are both projecting to launch their respective candidates and manifestos next weekend, according to officials of each side. Pt Fortin's Borough Day celebrations also take place over that weekend. Nomination Day for the May 24 general election is May 3. Both sides kick into high campaigning gear with nightly meetings after that date. At last night's Fyzabad meeting, the Opposition launched its new unity platform with its four partners–the COP, Tobago's TOP, NJAC and MSJ.
Yesterday, UNC vice-chairman Dr Fuad Khan said the Opposition force had no date for the launch of candidates and manifesto yet. He estimated the candidates "might be presented around or after Nomination Day." COP deputy leader Wendy Lee Yuen said a date for launching their candidates and manifesto was among items discussed at Tuesday's negotiating meeting and was to be finalised. Sunday May 2 is a projected tentative date for the united force to announce its full slate and candidates with nightly meetings planned for after that date as well as big rallies. The venue for the Opposition launch was still being worked out.
But UNC officials said yesterday that Mid Centre Mall in Chaguanas was likely to be "the only venue big enough for the thousands that are expected to attend." (sic) Lee Yuen said the Opposition negotiating team would report back soon on the official launch date. Last night in Fyzabad, the united force presented their completed agreement partnership document which leaders of the five groups signed. Meanwhile, the ruling PNM is expected to launch its candidates and manifesto on the first weekend of May also, officials projected yesterday. PNM PRO Jerry Narace said he could not give a date since the issue was still being worked on. PNM officials said the projected time date also be Sunday May 2, since the ruling party did not want to launch on May 1 which was the highpoint of Borough Day celebrations.