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Choudhary, Prasad to seek direct mandate

Two sitting Members of Parliament of the Labour Party representing the Sub-Continent communities will contest from two different and prominent constituencies in Auckland, if their nominations are approved by the respective Local Electorates.

Dr Ashraf Choudhary is among the seven nominees for the Manurewa Constituency in South Auckland, while Dr Rajen Prasad is hoping to contest at the Te Atatu Constituency in West Auckland.

Both are currently List MPs. Election 2011 will take Dr Choudhary and Dr Prasad to the Debating Chamber respectively for the fourth and second terms.

Indian Newslink believes that notwithstanding their decision to contest as electoral candidates, they would have their ‘safe positions’ in the Party’s List.

Both have academic background, both have obtained their PhD qualifications and both have worked at Massey University.

Dr Choudhary concentrated on Agricultural Engineering and Environmental Science and was considered an authority on conservation tillage. He worked for the Labour Party for more than 25 years and was among its prominent fund-raisers in Palmerston North and Auckland.

Dr Prasad was Associate Professor in Social Policy and Social Work and spent most of his professional life developing solutions to address New Zealand’s social interests and needs.

He was Race Relations Conciliator from 1996 to 2001 and the founding Chief Commissioner of the Families Commission from 2004 to 2008.

The Manurewa Constituency has been a Labour stronghold with George Hawkins as the elected MP since 1990. His decision to quit active politics had brought Dr Choudhary as a frontline candidate.

The Party would select its candidate for the Constituency on December 12 and the results would be announced at a time when this issue would be with printers.

Among the others in the field are Ian Dunwoodie (Lawyer), Jerome Mika (Union lead organiser), Amelia Schaaf (Lawyer), Shane Te Pou (Human Resources Manager) Raj Thandi (Entrepreneur) and Louisa Wall (Policy Advisor).

Te Atatu has also been a ‘Red Spot’ but Election 2011 would prove if the Constituency belonged to Labour or Chris Carter who currently sits as an Independent MP after being expelled from his Party on charges of impropriety and breaching Party Constitution, following a bitter quarrel with his political boss Phil Goff.

Mr Carter first won the Constituency in 1993, lost in 1996 (Waipareira) but won again in the expanded Te Atatu electorate in 1999 and stayed its MP since then. His decision not to contest in the next election has encouraged a number of others to try their fortune.

Among them are Nick Bakulich (Entrepreneur), Jim Bradshaw (Law Student), Dr Michael Kidd (Barrister), Hamish McCracken (University Lecturer), Ann Pala (Community Worker), Kate Sutton (Communications Consultant) and Phil Twyford (List MP).

Selection to this Constituency will be held on December 18 at 11 am at the Te Atatu Community Centre (595 Te Atatu Road).

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