"The property tax dealt me a career blow," said People's National Movement's candidate for San Fernando West Junia Regrello one day after he was defeated in the general election.
Regrello, who lost his seat to the People's Partnership Congress of the People (COP) candidate Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, believes people in the upscale areas did not vote for him because of the controversial property tax. Ironically, the abolishment of the property tax is one of the election promises of People's Partnership leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who is to be sworn in today as T&T'S first female Prime Minister. In a telephone interview yesterday, Regrello pointed out that there were strange irregularities in the constituency on election day, such as Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner's presence on the train line in Marabella. "But honestly I do not think that really affected the results," he said.
Based on the results, he said he fell short in the middle and upscale areas, such as Gulf View. He added: "There were three people in particular in the Gulf View area who asked about it. "They said if the property tax was there they were not going to give me their vote. "We won from Vistabella bridge to Pointe-a-Pierre bridge. We lost in those areas where there were upper and middle class. The property tax was a career blow. That would have been the major factor." Rating his performance in the last two-and-half years in office as excellent, Regrello said it was ironic that the upscale area of Gulf View got the biggest slice of cake but yet they did not give him their vote.
He said: "I spent over $20 million there. I built 11 drains in Gulf View, a community centre which I did not get the chance to open and a pavement in Gulf View Drive." He said a recreation park and swimming pool were also on stream. "The people of Gulf View did not vote for performance but I still love them," he said. An upbeat Regrello said he thought he did extremely well when compared to some of his colleagues, such as Pointe-a-Pierre candidate Christine Kangaloo and Barataria/San Juan candidate Joseph Ross, who lost by thousands.