United National Congress Chaguanas West by-election candidate Khadijah Ameen yesterday again claimed thuggery had reared its ugly heading the campaign. She made the comment during a walkabout with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar at Cacandee Road, Felicity. She said several reports had come in since the campaigning intensified, but claimed she had one report of a man in a UNC T-shirt being beaten and tossed into a drain by rival supporters, while another man’s family had been threatened.
Ameen called on her supporters to desist from retaliating because of such incidents, and called on other candidates to ask their supporters to do the same. Persad-Bissessar, meanwhile, said children were not and would not be exploited on the political hustings. She said: “My love, I have always loved children. You know that my entire life has been dedicated to the children of this country, there is no targeting, we just love children.”
The PM had been asked about criticisms that children were being used on platforms to gain political mileage by candidates. She said because of her love for children she had set up the Children’s Life Fund, had given computers to secondary school students and ensured education for all. “Please don’t use the children against us,” she urged.
Persad-Bissessar said support for the UNC was growing. She said the residents of Chaguanas West realised the importance of remaining in government and would vote UNC in the July 29 by-election. She said despite the significance of the election, especially with the challenge from her former ally Jack Warner, the party planned to run a low-key campaign without much advertising. She said the UNC would ensure that its election-day machinery was in place to mobilise voters.
Speaking about the conditions of upper Cacandee Road, the PM said the area needed improvement in drainage and roads.