Last update: 05-Dec-2013 3:41 am
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Deyalsingh to focus on St Joseph youths
People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate for the upcoming St Joseph by-election Terrence Deyalsingh yesterday blamed negative campaigning by two other political parties for Monday’s low turnout of voters. In an interview yesterday afternoon, after rain ruined a planned walkabout in the San Juan East district of the St Joseph constituency, Deyalsingh said the low turnout showed the disillusionment young people felt. “That is something I intend to address in a youth forum and by speaking to the young people,” he said.
Deyalsingh said in his interaction with young people in St Joseph and across the nation he had noticed a lack of faith in politicians and state institutions. “Young people in this area and nationally are totally disillusioned in the institutions of state. They have lost confidence in the police and lost respect for politicians,” he added. He said that lack of respect was due to the statements made on platforms by the PNM’s competitors during the local government elections.
He added: “Unfortunately all politicians become tarnished by what others do. “I think the people are fed up of negative campaigning but they will look at the PNM as a return to the traditional values that they hold dear to their hearts. “The fact that we were able to win the local government so handsomely means that our positive campaigning paid off in the end and I intend to continue in that vein in this by-election.” Deyalsingh said he felt the PNM’s winning momentum would help the party win the by-election.
“The fact that all three of our councillors within the St Joseph constituency have won is significant,” he added. He said John Raphael won a corporation seat in the San Juan East area for the first time; Britt Carmino won in Champs Fleur/Mt D’Or and Marcia Chan Pak won in Valsayn/St Joseph, also for the first time, although the East San Juan seat and the Valsayn/St Joseph seat were two areas in which the PNM did not do well traditionally.
“It shows that those voters who were traditionally not PNM are willing to look at the party again as we reposition ourselves to take over the leadership of the country,” he said. The East San Juan seat was up for a recount yesterday after Raphael won by nine votes. Deyalsingh added: “So I feel confident of my victory, which means we will have a PNM MP in St Joseph, hopefully, as well as three PNM local government council representatives.
“We can together co-ordinate delivery of goods and services to the burgesses of St Joseph. PNM’s local government victory has also helped because people have shown they agreed with a positive campaign.” Deyalsingh said he would focus his energy on knocking on every door and letting the voters get to know him. He has a ten-point plan to deal with issues in the constituency, including under-employment, youth disillusionment, unfinished projects and flooding.
Deyalsingh said he did not understand why people were saying the PP-ILP split caused the PNM to win the local government elections and one still had to ascertain if the ILP also had taken PNM votes. On whether he felt the St Joseph race was between the PNM and ILP still or perhaps PNM and the PP, Deyalsingh declined comment, saying he was focusing on his campaign, led by John Rahael, and his campaign team would assess the level of threat or opportunity for PNM.
PNM campaign team officials said they still believed St Joseph was a PNM-ILP fight.
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