Last update: 06-Dec-2013 4:49 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Warner calls for fresh election in Chaguanas
Interim political leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner wants to return to the polls to break the deadlock for control of the Chaguanas Borough Corporation. Warner, who spoke with reporters after a special service at the St Charles Presbyterian Church, Chaguanas, yesterday, said: “At the end of the day if the deadlock is not resolved then we do what is the next best thing, we go back to the polls.”
The Chaguanas West MP said no one from the United National Congress (UNC) has contacted his party to resolve the deadlock. “I have spoken to no one and no one has spoken to me and there is no anxiety to do so on my part either,” he said. “When it becomes official we will announce our aldermen and I imagine there will be some voting taking place from one side or the other. “As I speak to you, I know there has been no movement of any kind and I have no undue anxiety at this time.”
The Chaguanas Borough Corporation is evenly split with the ILP, UNC and PNM with four representatives each. Warner said the ILP represents the largest number of people in the Corporation—close to 12,000—and the party has an obligation to serve them as well the people who did not vote for them. However, he said, if there is no agreement between the parties, Chaguanas will have to go back to the polls. “And I have no problem with that,” he said.
Warner said the ILP is opposed to drawing lots or straws to determine the mayor and deputy mayor of Chaguanas. “The people did not vote to win a corporation by drawing lots. The people did not vote to run corporation by pulling straws. We as a party are totally against grasping at straws, that is not the way business is done,” he declared. He conceded, however, that the decision to hold a second local government election in Chaguanas is for the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) and the Government.
So far this year, three elections have been held in this country and in one week’s time voters in St Joseph will head to the polls for a by-election. Warner said a fifth election would be difficult and he does not like the idea of returning to the polls again. “I would hate to do that, honestly, because I am tired of elections,” he said.
“This year I have had my share of elections. From January to November I have had been on election mode and nobody could physically or otherwise take that kind of licking. I am tried of elections for this year but if the only means to resolve this problem is to go back to the polls, then so be it.” The Chaguanas West MP said he was still hopeful that the deadlock would be resolved.
Chaguanas East MP Stephen Cadiz agreed with Warner that another election could be a challenge for voters. “I really and truly would not like to see us have to go through this exercise again,” Cadiz said.
“The population, in particular Chaguanas, went through the by-election, now we went through local government, to subject the electorate to yet another election, even though that might be the only option, I wish that we would be able to do it in another way that would also be considered fair. To subject this electorate to another election I think would be rough.”
Warner dismissed yesterday’s North American Caribbean Teachers Association (Nacta) poll which showed PNM candidate Terrence Deyalsingh ahead in the run-up to the St Joseph by-election. “A week in politics is a long time. Who knows what this week will bring. I repeat, if ever we were to enter together those persons who are opposed to the PNM, they would not stand a chance,” Warner said.
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