Independent Liberal Party (ILP) chairman Rekha Ramjit is calling for personal security for all candidates contesting the September 7 general elections after the party's candidate for Fyzabad, Fabien Assie, discovered an envelope with bullets at his office on Saturday.Saying it was a sign of desperation, hooliganism and thuggery, Ramjit said yesterday she expects further incidents before the September 7 poll date, as the ILP has been gaining popularity.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Cecil Santana yesterday confirmed that Fyzabad police, led by Supt Jimmy Palloo, went to Assie's office around 5 pm to investigate the matter.A report stated that the brown envelope containing two bullets was slipped under the door to Assie's office. Written on it was, "This is for Fyzabad candidate Fabien Assie."
Officers took the bullets for analysis while Cpl Haynes is carrying out inquiries.Speaking by phone yesterday, Ramjit said, "My understanding is that he came into his office and found an envelope addressed to him. When he opened it there were two bullets and a message that it was for him."He called in the police and I, myself, spoke with police officer Haynes and they are doing their investigation. We don't know who deliverered it, we are not going to say who we think it is, but it was delivered.
She added, "Obviously it is related to the election. It is the start of thuggery and hooliganism as it relates to the election. We don't know who it is from, whether it is from the PNM or the UNC, but obviously somebody wants to undermine the campaign of Mr Fabien Assie because the ILP is growing in popularity."
Ramjit said they were confident the police would probe the matter thoroughly."The CSI officers are doing what they need to do and we have confidence that the justice system will deal with it appropriately. However, personal security is a major issue. It is one that former minister of national security, Mr Gary Griffith, said that we should pay special attention to," she said.
"I believe that security for all the candidates is a must in this election. It also indicates that there is desperation among the political parties for the election. We expect this incident to be repeated in the future."She said the incident had been traumatic for Assie, who went to the Gulf View Medical Centre on Saturday night after suffering a bout of hypertension and chest pain. In a brief phone call yesterday, Assie said he was still at the medical centre where his heart was being monitored.
Because of his condition, he was unable to recall Saturday's event.Meanwhile, United National Congress deputy political leader Marlene Coudray dismissed the claim that her party was involved.She said, "Why would anybody want to do that against the ILP at this stage? That is not our modus operandi in the UNC, and since they keeping so much company with the PNM they should check them."