The People’s National Movement (PNM) is forming or reviving party groups across the country ahead of the local government election.
In several instances, workers of the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) or CEPEP are the mainstays of the new party groups.
Some non-PNM workers are joining the groups, and even serving in executive positions, for fear of losing their jobs.
Several groups have already been formed and others are expected to be set up within the next few weeks.
The PNM is particularly focusing on establishing bases in non-traditional areas, with the hope of doing better in the local government election, which must be held by January 21.
The party has a presence in every municipal or regional corporation except Penal-Debe.
The establishment of party groups was discussed at the PNM’s General Council meeting last Saturday.
In some areas, URP and CEPEP workers have been handed PNM membership forms and urged to join the ruling party.
The party is also initiating fund-raising drives to assist in financing the upcoming election campaign.
Some URP and CEPEP workers are busily engaged in mobilising members and undertaking community funding exercises.
PNM Chairman Franklyn Khan has assured that the local government election would be held on time.
The terms of office of all corporations expire on October 21, but the government constitutionally has another three months within which to call the election.
In the 2013 local government polls, the PNM won 85 of the 136 seats, the UNC secured victory in 44, the ULP in three and COP in four.
The PNM controls eight corporations, and the UNC is in charge of six.
There was a 43.2 per cent voter turnout, which amounted to 447,083 voters.
This was said to be the highest voter turnout in local government history.
The previous highest turnout was in 2010, when 39.1 per cent of voters went to the polls.
There would be 137 seats in this year’s election, with the addition of Carapo in the Tunapuna-Piarco Regional Corporation.