Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 26th 2015 Contents A15
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
"Tunapuna is a razor-thin mar-
ginal seat. It s the battleground of
marginals and it s common knowl-
edge that the winner of this seat
forms the government. It s the
barometer as to what will happen."
This was how Hamlyn Jailal, cam-
paign manager for United National
Congress (UNC) Tunapuna candidate,
Wayne Munro, described the seat.
Jailal and Munro spoke to the T&T
Guardian on Monday about the UNC s
campaign and its chances in their con-
stituency office on the Eastern Main
Munro had just come from a walk-
about with supporters in the Fairley
Street area where he lives, close to
"The Zone," a notorious crime hot
The UNC office was overflowing
with people and there was a flurry of
campaign activity going on.
A passing vehicle on the street
advertised a meeting in Caura later
that night on a loudspeaker while
boxes of food and jerseys were dis-
tributed to everyone.
"Tunapuna is in safe hands," Munro
said, safe meaning the UNC.
It was only two Fridays ago that
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
announced Munro as the UNC can-
didate for Tunapuna.
The seat was previously held by
Winston Dookeran, founder of the
Congress of the People (COP), one of
the parties in the coalition People s
Munro was also named after the
UNC pulled back Jailal whom the COP
had originally selected to contest the
Jailal said: "That was the PP s final
decision. Wayne was recommended
and the leaders made a final decision.
I fully respect Wayne."
Jailal, who has been a UNC cam-
paign manager for the seat for the last
20 years, said Munro asked him to
work with him.
As soon as he was announced,
Munro swung into action, doing two
walkabouts for two days of the week.
"We walking at a brisk rate." Munro
said he lost 12 pounds during that
The UNC also had a 100-car
motorcade in the area over the week-
Munro said he has been getting a
positive response from constituents.
Married and the father of an eight-
month-old child, he is well known in
the Tunapuna area, he said.
He lives on the corner of Fairley
Street in "the white and yellow house
that gives free lessons on weekends,"
Munro lives four houses from his
political rival, the People s National
Movement (PNM) candidate, Esmond
Forde, and said a lot of his supporters
were his former students.
He said he and Forde were friendly
rivals. "I met with Forde and we agreed
to keep it clean."
But he minced no words in saying
he did not see Forde as a threat to him
"I have been offering my services
and performing in the constituency
for years now. Therefore, I am not
fearful," he added.
Jailal said people of all ethnic groups
have been running to Munro and hug-
"Our chances look good. It s a chal-
lenging constituency but we have a
strong and experienced campaign
team, combined with the Prime Min-
ister s high rating and the PP s record
Munro added: "Keith Rowley s can-
didate (Forde) is not walking the con-
stituency and the PNM s main office
on the Eastern Main Road is always
closed with no sign of activity."
Jailal said the UNC was busy engag-
ing Tunapuna s business, farming and
Dismissing earlier media reports
that the Government neglected Tuna-
puna, he said, while there may have
been a visibility problem concerning
former MP Dookeran, significant infra-
structural work was quietly done in
the area over the last five years.
"I am chairman of the National
Insurance Property Development
Company (Nipdec) and I know the
projects that were done," Jailal said.
There were projects on bridges, walls
and farmers access roads in Caura.
Roads were paved and box drains were
"We refurbished the Blackpool
Recreation Club, a sporting club in
existence in the area for 50 years,"
Jailal said, also noting the opening of
the nursing academy in El Dorado.
"It s misleading to say nothing took
place here," he said.
Munro said he planned to solve
Tunapuna s traffic problems by build-
ing a bridge over the Tacarigua River
and a multi-storey car park.
He said a coming boardwalk in
Caura and hiking and biking trails in
the Tunapuna hills will boost eco-
tourism. Caura residents would be
encouraged to diversify by getting
into downstream agro-processing
industries, he said.
Munro ready to bring home Tunapuna seat
Tunapuna, with about 28,000
constituents, is bordered on the
south by the Eastern Main Road, the
west by Curepe Junction, the east by
Thavenot Street, near Caura, and the
north by the Tunapuna hills in the
Acono Road area.
Some of its main communities are
Caura, El Dorado, Acono, The Zone,
Santa Margarita and Smart and
The seat was held by the PNM
from 1956 to 1986. The National
Alliance for Reconstruction's Dr
Emmanuel Hosein won the seat in
The PNM won the seat in the
1991, 1995 and 2002 general
elections. The Congress of the
People's Winston Dookeran won it in
Former UNC candidates in the
area included Mervyn Assam, Carlos
John and Hector McClean who lost
to the PNM by votes ranging
between 244 and 500.
UNC candidate for Tunapuna Wayne Munro, right, and his campaign
manager Hamlyn Jailal. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Natakie Punter Griffith Adams
portrays Orisha deity, Yemoja---
Goddess of the Oceans, during
the Ile Ijosin Otura Meji Awon
Osun offering ceremony at
Salybia Beach on Sunday.
PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
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