Political Leader of the United National Congress and Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP is expressing concern over several reports of incidents and irregularities during voting in today’s Local Government Election.
The UNC Leader issued the following statement:
We ran a campaign we can be proud of, one which allowed us to meet hundreds of thousands of people across this country. I told every member of the UNC to go out in every community and show that we will return good representation to Trinidad and Tobago.
The feedback we have been getting is that in most areas there is a steady stream of voters, which is a positive sign that people are interested in exercising their right to vote and to elect the representatives of their choice.
We are confident that the people will make the right choice in this election and send a clear message to the PNM that their incompetence is not acceptable, and they are ready for change. I have always said the voice of the people is the voice of God.
However, the party is alarmed over reports of irregularities and issues with the voting process.
We have had several examples in which it seems that the EBC officials have not been consistent in their application of the law: while over 130 Returning Officers allowed persons wearing similar coloured green t-shirts to access the polling station as Polling Agents, in at least two separate reported instances, the UNC’s polling agents were prohibited because the Returning Officer felt that the green colour was too close to yellow (in one electoral district in SGRC and in another in DMRC). Our attorneys and coordinators were forced to step in to resolve the matter.
There are multiple instances in which Polling Agents scheduled to work today at Poll Stations were reportedly approached by persons representing another political party and offered inducements to stand down. However, I am pleased to advise that our polling agents remain committed and have turned out to work today.
I am also aware that another party is using vehicles to transport personnel in the Boroughs and Cities which have EBC stickers issued by the Police. Our lawyers have advised that this is not in keeping with the Representation of the People Act which, at the third schedule advises the regional municipalities and the ratio of cars permissible.
We also have reports of a PNM candidate blocking voters from exercising their democratic rights and this has been reported to the police.
This is cause for alarm, and we will monitor closely.
This campaign has been fraught with issues, and the PNM has used every tactic to try to deflect attention from their own inability to govern our country.
After four years – now into their fifth year – they have not a single achievement to speak about.
The UNC remains focused on meeting citizens, hearing their concerns, and developing solutions. When the General Election is called, the people will be able to choose a leader and team that has a vision and plan to move our country forward.