Last update: 10-Dec-2013 12:10 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Protest over Moruga results
Tension continued to brew over the local government elections results in Moruga yesterday as a handful of residents took part in an early-morning protest over the People’s National Movement’s defeat in the area. Close to a dozen PNM supporters built a barrier of tyres across the Moruga Road, Basse Terre, as they claimed their candidate for Moruga\Barrackpore Kenwyn Williams was cheated at the October 21 elections.
It started at 3 am and lasted for less than an hour as heavy rain and constant police surveillance kept the men sheltering under a shed until they eventually postponed their demonstration. According to a statement from resident Bob Duran, United National Congress candidate Philip Gonzales had accepted defeat to Williams on election night. However, he said, the following day the UNC passed through the community proclaiming a victory.
Duran said: “In Moruga/Barrackpore, a two-horse race was evident, with the PNM showing good early pace, and by 9 pm on election night, the incumbent UNC councillor Mr Phillip Gonzales had called Mr Kenwyn Williams, the PNM candidate, conceding and offering congratulations.” He said after the election-night results, a request was made for a recount which led to rejected ballots with electoral ink stains being counted in favour of Gonzales. That, he said, could have meant that some people voted twice.
He added that even before the recount was done last week, UNC activists knew that the recount would give their party victory by ten votes. One resident at the protest said a woman was seen taking a ballot box into a house at St Croix Road, Princes Town, where it is believed she tampered with it. Residents plan to continue their protest and are suggesting the Elections and Boundaries Commission should revert to the original decision, which gave Williams victory, or call a fresh election in the district.
Responding to the protest in a telephone interview yesterday, Gonzales said it was only being done to create animosity toward the UNC supporters in the area. “I have given up my own personal resources and after all I have a family, my children go to university and I would usually take out of my own money to help people. In fact, the corporation’s money that I get every month for the past three years never came to my house, it went back into the community.
“I will be helping groups; sports groups and cultural groups. People have to come real good to get money from by me now because they are taking the money after coming to me for various reasons and at the end of the day, they are using it for something else, and that is wrong,” Gonzales said.
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