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I’m in no one’s pocket—Ameen
As the United National Congress (UNC) kicked off its campaign for Chaguanas West with a scathing attack on former MP Jack Warner on Wednesday, the party’s hopeful candidate Khadijah Ameen declared that she is in no one’s pocket. In her maiden address since being selected as the candidate to contest the July 29 by-election, Ameen told an audience at Vishnu Boys Hindu College, Caroni, there was no mud against her name.
“I want you to have no doubt, when people make allegations, as they will during this silly season, I want you to have no doubt any fingers will be pointed at me,” she told supporters. “Let me tell you, again, I am in no one’s pocket. Not now, not ever. I promise each and every one of you, as your representative, I will mean what I say and say what I mean.”
Ameen, who was endorsed by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last Friday from among eight candidates, called on the crowd to give their support to the party. “This election is more important than any single person,” she said, without reference to Warner who, after being rejected by the party, indicated he would challenge Ameen and People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate Avinash Singh for the seat.
Warner, who secured over 18,000 votes in the 2010 election, made his announcement hours before the UNC meeting at his own walkabout in Caroni, saying he is confident he has the support of his constituents and would wrest the seat from any contender. He has not stopped campaigning, following his resignation as MP, UNC chairman and as National Security minister.
“As my grandmother used to tell me, it takes a village to raise a child. Tonight I tell you, it will take a strong, united UNC to raise the Chaguanas West village so this village can raise its children as one people,” Ameen said. “Together we can ensure that Chaguanas West continues proudly in government. I plead to all of you, no matter where we are in Chaguanas West, vote for the right thing.”
Persad-Bissessar, who brought the meeting to a close, said any support for any other party would mean going into opposition. She said after hearing Ameen, she had no doubt they had made the right decision. She said during her walks with Ameen over the weekend, she was overwhelmed by the love and warmth showed to them.