PNM’s Judy Sookdeo aims to capture Debe South


PNM candidate Judy Sookdeo gives a thumbs up after dropping off her nomination form on January 17 with the returning officer at Shops of Debe for the Debe South by-election on February 7. – AYANNA KINSALE

JUDY Sookdeo, 52, is fearless as she seeks to win the traditional UNC stronghold of Debe South for the PNM in the Feb. 7 by-election for that district.

The Prime Minister informed President Paula-Mae Weekes of the date of the January 3 by-election. The seat of Debe South became vacant following the death of UNC Councilor Purushottam Singh on February 14, 2021. The district falls under the jurisdiction of the UNC, controlled Debe Criminal/Regional Society (PDRC). There are 12 polling stations in the district.

Sookdeo will face UNC’s Khemraj Sunil Seecharan and Lorenzo Sammy of the Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP). The trio lodged their nomination papers at the Elections and Boundaries Commission polling station at the Shoppes of Debe complex in Debe on January 17.

While Debe South has long been considered a UNC political stronghold and falls under a UNC-controlled corporation, Sookdeo is unfazed by the challenge she faces as she makes her political debut. electoral.

“Debe South is not a traditional PNM headquarters, but I believe nothing is impossible as I seek to attract the well-meaning people of Debe South.”

“I campaign on the platform of a solid plan as well as my ability to represent effectively.” Sookdeo is proud to be part of the PNM and its tradition of fielding candidates in every election in Trinidad and Tobago since the party’s inception in 1956.

“The people of Debe South have the opportunity to vote for quality representation. Regardless of the odds, a voice can be very important. One person can make a difference and impact. I intend to be a strong advocate of those I represent.” Sookdeo believes that being the sole representative of PNM within the company will bring a fresh perspective to governance, based on sound plans and policies.

“I’m also solution oriented and can work with anyone once the job is done for the people I represent.” Politics has always interested Sookdeo and it flowed naturally with his passion for community work.

“As a representative, I will have the ability to continue this work and play an active and real role in doing more work to help people in my area.”

A single mother with two children, Sookdeo has lived in Debe South and Debe North at different times in her life.

“I also commute to this neighborhood, I recreate in this neighborhood, I have friends and family who live here, I shop here and this is literally where I spend most of my time. I intimately understand this community and the people of this neighborhood.”

“My main priority is to be a good parent and a strong role model. These are responsibilities that I take very seriously.”

Judy Sookdeo, PNM candidate in the Debe by-election. –

Sookdeo’s long held beliefs in education and development fueled her aspiration to work with children. “It shows in my own educational pursuits and accomplishments. I bring maturity, experience and a strong sense of community activism to the table because I am genuinely interested in seeing this region and its people grow. “

Communication is both an important part of her campaign and what she hopes to bring to the people of Debe South as an adviser. A corporate supervisor by profession, Sookdeo said, “I recently unlocked one of my hidden talents as a broadcaster.”

She holds a Master of Science from Heriot Watt University and studied law.

“Education is very important to me because it paves the way for success.”

Sookdeo knows the complaints of people who are unable to get in touch with their elected representatives to get their concerns answered. “I want to be an interlocutor not only present in my neighborhood but also accessible. In the age of technology, it is easy to be alerted to the needs of the inhabitants with the simple press of a button.”

Apart from traditional methods of representation such as office hours and regular meetings, Sookdeo said the use of technology would allow him to be in contact with the bourgeois in real time so that he could represent them properly.

What does she think are the pressing concerns of the people of Debe South?

“Infrastructure is one of the most pressing issues, especially roads and drainage. The PDRC is responsible for a significant number of roads in the region and receives an allocation for this.” She promised to ensure that Debe South receives “its fair share to allow the roads to be repaired”.

“Where other agencies are needed, I will do the same.”

She also intends to tackle the flooding issues in the district. It is something Sookdeo said that the PDRC has the authority to deal with certain elements of drainage works in areas under its jurisdiction.

“I intend to represent well to ensure that the drainage infrastructure works are undertaken.” She saw that unplanned and unregulated development in Debe South was a major cause of flooding in the area.

“Often we see developers blocking, narrowing and altering waterways without permission or without the necessary approvals.”

Sookdeo said she would ensure that the PDRC pays close attention to such issues and deals with them if they arise.

Debe South has not been spared from the effects of the covid19 pandemic. In this context, Sookdeo considers social development as an issue that must remain a priority.

“Many residents have become more vulnerable due to the socio-economic fallout of the covid19 pandemic.”

The government, she observed, has been assisting many people affected by the pandemic with different forms of relief such as providing food cards, baskets, business grants and salaries.

“I intend to identify these vulnerable individuals and groups in the constituency and be a strong advocate on their behalf. My goal is to render assistance by approaching relevant government agencies and non-profit organizations to ensuring that those who need it most can get the help they can.”

Sookdeo also saw community development as essential to Debe South and an important part of her duties as a councillor.

“I intend to engage the various community organizations such as village councils, sports and cultural organizations, youth groups and religious organizations to foster a sense of cooperation for the development of our small and large communities. .”

Many of these groups are able to do important work in Debe South.

“I intend to help them get resources to build the communities in which they operate.”

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