Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 12th 2015 Contents B12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, June 12, 2015
UNC has edge with
the East Indian vote
Barataria/San Juan, divided into four
areas, is bounded on the north by the East-
ern Main Road in the Bagatelle Road/Sun-
shine Avenue area, on the south by El Socor-
ro, the east by Boundary Road and El
Socorro, and the west by Morvant Junction.
This bustling suburban community, choked
with houses, businesses and traffic, where
the sight of crack addicts is common, a legacy
of the former Naim Naya drug empire, is a
coveted marginal seat on the East/West Cor-
Wahid Mohammed, field officer at MP Dr
Fuad Khan s constituency office, identified
the areas in the seat from a large map on a
table in the constituency office in the Croisee
El Socorro, where a significant number of
East Indians reside, comprises the biggest
part of the constituency. And that s what
gives the UNC an edge.
A poll by H.H.B and Associates in the area
shows Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
with a significant lead over Opposition Leader
Dr Keith Rowley.
The Sunshine Avenue and Barataria housing
development areas traditionally support the
A large portion of the 25,800 residents in
Barataria/San Juan are Muslims who, political
analysts claim, have used the bargaining power
of their religion to determine who wins this
East/West Corridor seat.
"If you get the Muslim vote in San
Juan/Barataria, you win the seat," Mohammed
He insists the UNC has the Muslim vote
this time. He was given this assurance by
Sheraz Ali, Imam of the largest mosque in
the Caribbean, Nur-E-Islam, located right
there in El Socorro, he said.
"Up to Friday last I spoke to him and he
said the Muslims are ready to give us their
No Muslim vote
MP Dr Fuad Khan dispelled the idea of the
"Muslim vote" in Barataria/San Juan.
"I think that was a creation to make it look
important," he said.
Khan said there were 2,500 Muslims in
the area, 10,000 Hindus and between 5,000
and 7,000 people of mixed religions.
Khan has won the seat for the last five
parliamentary terms. In the 2010 general
election, the UNC got 4,000 votes more than
Before him, Barataria s Ken Butcher won
the seat for the National Alliance for Recon-
struction in 1986, wresting it away, for the
first time, from the PNM.
From 1956, when T&T gained Independ-
ence, right up to 1986, San Juan/Barataria
was held by PNM MPs including Kamaludin
Mohammed and Dr Linda Baboolal.
The seat returned to the PNM briefly in
2007. The PNM s Joseph Ross seized it when
the "Indian vote" split into the UNC and the
Congress of the People.
The PNM has selected Hafeez Ali to contest
the seat in this year s general election.
"Here, you have to have a Muslim,"
He claimed the PNM approached the prin-
cipals of three Muslim schools in the area to
be candidates and they said no.
Ali lives in Munroe Road, Cunupia, outside
the area, but his grandfather was a prominent
Imam in Barataria/San Juan, Mohammed
said. His father also owns a hardware on Don
...but PNM has started hitting ground
ON THE MARGIN---BARATARIA/SAN JUAN
POLLS AND GRAPHS BY
H.H.B AND ASSOCIATES
Continues on Page B13
Astratified random sample of
300 adults was selected
based on the polling
divisions (PDs) in the constituency.
The PDs were stratified based on the
size of the victory of the winning
party. Maps of the selected PD were
used to select the sample households
based on a start location and a
random walk which interviewers were
required to follow. Every "nth"
household along the route was
selected for interview. A random
process was used (last birthday) to
select an adult within the household
to be interviewed. Questionnaires
were administered face-to-face by the
The margin of error is 5.6 per cent
In exploring issues of marginality
we focus first on the representation
and issues at the constituency level.
35 per cent of Barataria/San Juan
constituents have a favourable
opinion of Dr Fuad Khan as an MP and
48 per cent have an unfavourable
opinion. Their opinion of him as a
person is essentially the same.
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