Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Diego election machinery well oiled
Heavy political hitters and prominent figures turned up today to vote in Diego Martin.
Among them were Opposition Leader and political leader of the People’s National Movement (PNM) Dr Keith Rowley, Diego Martin Central MP Dr Amery Browne, Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith, chairman of the T&T Debates Commission Andrew Sabga, Integrity Commission chairman Ken Gordon, National Security Minister Gary Griffith and his wife, Congress of the People (COP) deputy chairman Nicole Dyer-Griffith.
For PNM La Puerta/Goodwood candidate Michael Alonzo, the rain did little to hamper the voting. Alonzo said, just before casting his vote at the International School of Port-of-Spain, Westmoorings, “This is like a national election. I think the energy and the passion I am seeing in people, the rain is not going to stop this PNM victory.”
Alonzo said while the voting was slow, the response was positive.
Asked about the overall campaigning in the build-up to the elections, he said it went too low and the real issues were not addressed.
“The PNM, if you looked at our campaign, we were the only party that really dealt with policy, dealt with good governance, good people, and our energy built and we could have seen it at the rally… We peaked at the right time with the right kind of candidates. No goats, votes.”
Many of the well-known figures and politicians agreed the elections in the northern part of Trinidad went smoothly.
Rowley had a slight hiccup, as his polling station had been moved from St Anthony’s to the International School. He said even after his wife had opened her poll card and saw she was to vote at the International School, he still was unaware his polling station had been moved.
Asked how the process was, Rowley said, “Very efficient, very smooth.” Asked to compare it to a general election, Rowley said the voter turnout was much, much lower.
He was hopeful of his party’s chances.
“Local government elections normally don’t have the frenzy at polling stations that you have at general elections but I think the rain is a little factor and so it will pick up. It is clearing up so I hope it will pick up and people who want to vote should come out and vote.”
Rowley said the party had no complaints at that time about the electoral process.
Hamel-Smith, who also voted at the International School, said perhaps there were fewer people, but everything went smoothly. Both Sabga and Gordon, also voting at the International School, also described the process as smooth.
Griffith and Dyer-Griffith, who both voted at the Maraval Community Centre, also said the process was smooth and straightforward.
Browne, who voted at Patna River Estate Government Primary School, also said the election went smoothly. He found a well prepared polling station where the staff were polite, well-organised, trained and well-secured. It was, he said, the largest number of police officers he had ever seen out for an election.
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