Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Incident-free voting in Warner's stronghold
Voting in Chaguanas West, the stronghold of Independent Liberal Party interim political leader Jack Warner, was incident-free, according to “shadow MP” Vasant Bharath.
“All eyes are upon Chaguanas West because of what happened in the July 29 by-election,” Bharath told the T&T Guardian.
A former UNC stronghold, the seat was won by Independent Liberal Party (ILP) MP Jack Warner, by an overwhelming majority.
While there were reports of thuggery and intimidation in the constituency during the by-election and one incident in which a voter was knocked down by a driver from Attorney General Anand Ramlogan's security detail, reports yesterday were that the voting process was incident free. Regular police patrols were seen in the area.
Voter turnout was reported as slow but steady, despite early-morning showers. Voting was reportedly high in Montrose, described as a marginal seat.
Bharath, who has been assisting the UNC candidate in the Felicity, Charlieville and Munroe Road areas, said, “There have been no incidents per se. Voting was quite smooth, although a bit slow in these districts.”
Bharath blamed the slow voting on the rain and the fact that traditionally there was a low voter turnout for local government elections. He expected voting to increase in the afternoon.
Chaguanas East MP Stephen Cadiz, who was monitoring the Montrose, Cunupia, Enterprise North and Enterprise South areas, said voter turnout was on par with that in the 2010 local government elections.
“The amount of people who voted so far will equal the number who voted in the 2010 general election,” he felt.
Cadiz attributed this to a change in the electoral boundaries of the area, with a part of Endeavour now being included.
“You would have a higher-than-normal voter turnout,” he said.
Cadiz said voting in these areas was also without incident.
Outgoing Chaguanas Mayor Orlando Nagessar, who was quietly trying to “clean out” his office when the Guardian visited yesterday, was optimistic about the UNC retaining the corporation.
“I was told that voter turnout in Montrose, a marginal seat, was the highest ever experienced. About 1,500 had voted before midday.”
Nagessar said the general feedback from the ground was that a lot of people in Chaguanas who had switched from the UNC to the ILP had switched back.
“People feel the ILP not in government and will not be able to deliver,” one voter said.
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