Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 20th 2015 Contents A11
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With the general election a mere three weeks
away, newly-selected United National Congress
(UNC) candidate for San Fernando West Raziah
Ahmed says her greatest challenge is covering all
of the constituency before election day.
Ahmed resigned her post as President of the Senate
last Friday and filed her nomination papers on Monday
at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts
along with Independent candidate Jowelle Taylor De
Souza, Independent Liberal Party (ILP) candidate
Joseph Mendes and People s National Movement
(PNM) candidate Faris Al-Rawi.
Sando West battle...
Unlike her PNM opponent who came with hun-
dreds of supporters, Ahmed was accompanied by a
handful of family members, friends and colleagues,
including Princes Town MP Nela Khan. Her tassa
entourage arrived late.
Outgoing MP Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan was not
present but Ahmed assured that Seepersad-Bachan
would be assisting her on the campaign trail.
Asked what would be the focus of her campaign,
Ahmed said: "Covering the distance in the three
weeks, walking all of the streets and organising my
street captains would be the greatest challenge but
it is easy work."
Asked on which areas she planned to focus, Ahmed
said: "Every area is crucial, every voter is significant
and important as an individual, every family is critical
for this campaign. Strategically we have our plans
but we will focus on every family in the constituen-
cy."Asked what gave her the edge over other UNC
candidates screened, Ahmed replied: "A number of
things. Experience for one, knowledge of the area.
I have lived in this area for 37 years and I have worked
with the people in many disciplines, especially with
However, Al-Rawi said the late selection of a UNC
candidate was a gross disrespect to the people of
"We are exactly three weeks away from the general
election. The PNM campaign has been on the ground
face-to-face, corner by corner, street by street. It
took me 11 months to do the work that I have done.
We have met everybody and the genuine purpose of
that is to understand issues from the source.
"It is disrespectful to introduce a candidate into
the election now because with three weeks to go you
can have no real appreciation of what concerns San
Fernandians," he added.
Al-Rawi said San Fernando was dead and citizens
were facing unemployment and underemployment.
"We have a serious traffic situation, serious vagrancy
issues and healthcare risks," he added. He said the
UNC had no slate and its candidates were unaware
of the issues of the people.
Meanwhile, De Souza echoed Al-Rawi s sentiments,
saying San Fernando has suffered from a lack of rep-
She said her priority would be to build a duty free
waterfront. She agreed that at this late stage, there
was little that Ahmed could do to win the trust of
the people. De Souza has been campaigning for the
past year in the constituency and has made inroads
in areas like Gulf View, Embaccadere and Marabel-
la.Mendes also said his goal was to end poverty in
San Fernando. He said during his walkabouts he was
appalled at the conditions under which some people
lived. He said whether or not he won the seat, he
intended to continue to work with the poor people
of the city.
Ahmed: I'll walk the walk
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