Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 5th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Saturday, September 5, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A3 The Elections and Boundaries Commission
(EBC) has given People s National Movement
(PNM) candidate for San Fernando West Faris
Al-Rawi the stamp of validity to run for the
constituency in Monday s general election.
In a letter written to election agent Irwin
Elder yesterday, Returning Officer for San Fer-
nando West, Eddison Ramdeen, confirmed the
validity of Al-Rawi s candidacy for the electoral
district of San Fernando.
Ramdeen s letter was in response to a query
from Elder following questions over the legit-
imacy of Al-Rawi s candidacy by Housing Min-
ister Roodal Moonilal.
Earlier this week, Moonilal suggested that
Al-Rawi s candidacy was not valid as he did
not live at the residence for which he had reg-
istered as a candidate. Moonilal claimed that
because Al-Rawi lived outside of the con-
stituency and not at Ruth Avenue where he
had registered, his candidacy could be challenged
in a petition following elections.
Moonilal is the campaign manager for UNC
candidate for the constituency Raziah Ahmed.
Yesterday, however, Elder said Al-Rawi main-
tained a family home at the Ruth Avenue address
in San Fernando.
He said Al-Rawi had received advice from
attorney Douglas Mendes SC, a recognised
expert in election petitions throughout the
Caribbean, who had confirmed there was no
basis in law to challenge his candidacy.
The letter quoted Mendes as saying form 39
in the Representation of the People Act required
candidates to state their address, but did not
specify residential address.
In an article in this newspaper yesterday,
former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence
Maharaj SC also said no court of law could
uphold a petition to remove Al-Rawi.
Elder said yesterday that Moonilal was pur-
posefully ignoring the obvious flaws in his argu-
ment, both in law and simple logic, and it was
clearly a gross attempt on his part to discourage
electors from exercising their constitutional
right to vote for the candidate of their choice.
Despite this, charges and counter charges
flew again yesterday between Moonilal and Al-
During the PP s motorcade along the East-
West corridor, Moonilal told reporters a letter
was sent to the acting Police Commissioner
and EBC by a San Fernando West constituent,
regarding an alleged "false declaration" in Al-
Rawi s nomination which indicated his address
as San Fernando. He claimed Al-Rawi s address
on a vehicle purchased recently was Federation
Moonilal said Al-Rawi was free to live any-
where and contest San Fernando West, but
wasn t free to make a false declaration of an
address since that was perjury and the UNC
would challenge it. He said a petition was being
drafted by lawyers on this. He also said there
was a process by which constituents could be
warned not to vote if a breach had been com-
However, Al-Rawi told T&T Guardian that
he had written the EBC and was informed his
nomination was valid.
He also said the PNM had in turn written
the acting Police Commissioner seeking the
immediate investigation of Moonilal for allegedly
undertaking undue influence contrary to the
Representation of the People Act and trying to
compel voters not to vote for Al-Rawi by falsely
claiming his nomination was invalid,
Prior to yesterday s PP motorcade, UNC
Toco/Sangre Grande candidate Brent Sancho
was asked about allegations by PNM leader Dr
Keith Rowley regarding an alleged Range Rover
purchase and about allegations by ILP leader
Jack Warner about a "tape" he had in his pos-
session. Sancho replied briefly that he had put
all matters in his attorneys hands.
EBC clears Al-Rawi
Yesterday s People s Partner-
ship motorcade through the
East-West corridor, which
attracted scores of supporters
along the route, also encoun-
tered picong from some
PNMites along the way.
The main form of heckling
directed at Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar was the Peo-
ple s National Movement s cam-
paign song "Bye Bye, Kamla,"
which was sung by pockets of
PNMites outside campaign
offices in the eastern regions.
The motorcade was geared
towards promoting the governing
PP s profile in the East-West
corridor, the main battleground
for Monday s general election.
While the PP took to the cor-
ridor electorate via vehicles, the
Opposition PNM also raised its
election profile after earlier this
week calling on members of the
public to wear red yesterday
ahead of Monday s election. This
call was heeded by PNMites in
various parts of the East-West
corridor and was visible in Port-
Yesterday s events were a
build-up to today s rallies by the
PP, PNM and Independent Lib-
eral Party (ILP) in the final surge
of activity ahead of Monday s
By yesterday evening, stages,
tents and other structures were
already in place at Aranguez
Savannah, San Juan, for the PP s
final rally today. The arrange-
ments featured a similar layout
to what the PP used in 2010
when it won that general elec-
The PNM s stage construction
and other preparations were also
in the final stages at Eddie Hart
Grounds, Tacarigua. On this
occasion the stage is closer to
the Priority Bus Route and faces
south, unlike other election rallies
when it was close to the south
and faced north.
The ILP is holding a Central
Trinidad rally today as well.
Yesterday s yellow-themed PP
motorcade in which the PM par-
ticipated, which was due to have
left Sangre Grande around 10.30
am, didn t get going until around
noon heading west in a cavalcade
of huge trailer trucks, music
trucks, yellow-painted jeeps and
vans, maxi taxis and cars filled
with supporters, blaring music.
The line of vehicles began
from the PP offices of Toco/San-
gre Grande candidate Brent San-
cho. One of the co-ordinators,
UNC deputy leader Roodal
Moonilal, said the motorcade
was scheduled to pass through
Arima, Tunapuna, St Augus-
tine/Curepe, St Joseph, San Juan,
Morvant Junction and end at the
Waterfront in Port-of-Spain,
where a brief gathering was to
As the motorcade made its
way out of Sangre Grande,
groups of UNC supporters---of
all ages---alongside the road, in
galleries, and outside some busi-
nesses waved flags of support to
the vehicles, hoping for a glimpse
of the PM. PP Minister Christine
Newallo-Hosein and other offi-
cials in the lead truck waved to
supporters. UNC officials and
aides in some vehicles tossed
UNC jerseys, whistles, horns and
other PP paraphernalia to sup-
porters along the way.
As the procession passed the
Sangre Grande offices of PNM
candidate Glenda Jennings-
Smith, some of her supporters
looked out at the PP motorcade.
Further down the road, some
red-clad PNMites swayed to the
calypso from the PP trucks---but
pointedly made it clear they were
Passing through the Arima
location, Congress of the People
MP Rodger Samuel joined
Hosein on the truck platforms,
waving to spectators and sup-
porters in the town.
Arima Mayor George
Hadeed---campaign manager of
PNM s D Abadie candidate Ancil
Antoine---walked through the
spectators looking at the pro-
cession. Hadeed, wearing a red
PNM shirt, shook hands jovially
with Samuel. But one of
Hadeed s relatives, outside a
store, watched the motorcade,
humming the PNM s "Bye Bye
A number of PNM supporters
wearing red jerseys also looked
on. As the procession passed
along Queen Street, a couple of
people held up red PNM T-shirts
to the PP groups.
Several youths in the area were
also photographed stomping on
yellow PP jerseys on the ground.
At the end of one block, a man
waved a PNM flag at the vehicles
as they passed and he and two
other PNM supporters subse-
quently began tossing remarks
vigorously at the passing PP con-
voy and giving them the
Occupants of the PP vehicles
didn t react and UNC executive
officials in one vehicle to whom
some of the remarks were direct-
ed simply laughed it off.
Less hostile rivalry occurred
between flag bearers of the PNM,
COP and PP, who did a "wave-
off" of sorts on one street.
Further into Arima, between
Queen and Farfan Streets, a PNM
music truck---which had been
silent when the convoy entered
Arima---blared "Bye Bye Kamla"
to compete with the PP s music
as vehicles passed.
PNM, UNC supporters dish out picong
PM gets 'Bye Bye' song
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar distributes party paraphernalia during the People's
Partnership's motorcade along the East-West corridor, yesterday. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
Later along the way, the
motorcade slowed as it
encountered groups of COP and
other supporters outside of Arima,
heading into D'Abadie.
By the time the motorcade
reached Lopinot around 4 pm, some
supporters along that leg said they
had been waiting almost four hours
to see the motorcade.
Persad-Bissessar, who joined
other candidates including the
COP's Wendell Eversely on a van,
distributed jerseys to groups of
people who clustered around the
vehicle. A group of KFC employees
gathered outside the compound to
take pictures of the PM.
Commenting briefly on how she
felt, Persad-Bissessar said,
"Excellent...." Dressed in yellow shirt,
cap and dark glasses against the
glaring sunshine, the PM gave out
jerseys and gave a thumbs-up.
Along the way, pockets and
groups of PNMites outside PNM
campaign offices in
Arouca/Maloney, Tunapuna, Bon Air
and Mt Lambert heckled the PM by
singing the "Bye Bye Kamla" song
as the motorcade passed.
She was joined by other PP
candidates Lincoln Douglas, Wayne
Munroe, COP leader Prakash
Ramadhar and Patricia Metivier as
the motorcade made its way
through the respective areas they
were contesting. The motorcade
slowed as at it reached the
Barataria/San Juan constituency by
7.45 pm and reached the
Waterfront close to 9 pm.
LONG WAIT FOR SOME
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