Leader of the Opposition Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP is calling for a thorough investigation into the recent discovery of critical election documents from three elections, on the compound of a private company in Arima.
The documents which reportedly relate to elections held in 2015, 2019 and 2020, were supposedly found on the compound of Grand Bay.
The UNC Leader issued the following statement:
If these documents are shown to be authentic ballot papers and poll cards, this startling discovery raises serious concerns regarding the integrity of these three elections as well as the conduct of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) which has sole purview over these pertinent aspects of our democratic process.
Notably, this follows the discovery of dumped polling cards in Arima, a day after the 2020 General Election, which I understand is being investigated.
What is rather disturbing is that the company where the documents were found, Grand Bay Paper Products and its associate company, Trinidad Tissues Limited, was the recipient of a US 5 million dollar loan facilitated by the PNM Government in 2016 through the EXIM Bank. At that time, I raised several red flags about Grand Bay, regarding its ties to foreign citizens and its substantial debt.
This latest find of alleged ballot papers and poll cards adds to the long list of irregularities that were previously raised by the UNC in the aftermath of the August 10th Elections such as: being denied access to the station diaries, inability to verify specimen signatures for ballots and the inconsistent accounts of the Prime Minister concerning election observers.
Given the fervour with which the ruling PNM tried to dismiss the UNC’s concerns regarding the conduct of the election and the fact that no international election observer teams were able to monitor, the question remains, were these elections really free of misconduct as they tried to portray it?
This find ought to be of concern to all right-thinking persons regardless of political allegiance.
We trust that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service will treat this matter with urgency and will move expeditiously to complete the investigation into this incident, as the integrity of our democracy is at stake.