Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 30th 2013 Contents A5
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan,
Sport Minister Anil Roberts and
Minister of Arts and Multicultur-
alism Winston "Gypsy" Peters
were at the Invincible Recreation
Ground, Charlieville, last night
to congratulate Jack Warner, who
swept the Chaguanas West by-
Heralded onstage by tassa drums
in his victory speech, Warner
announced a new era had dawned
and hinted at larger political ambi-
tions for himself and his new party.
"Chaguanas West represents the
people of change and points the
way for the rest of the country.
You are saying governance from
the ground up, not the top down,"
he told the huge crowd.
Warner beat the UNC s Khadijah
Ameen in all the polling stations.
After being nearly mobbed when
he went to meet the crowd on the
ground before his victory speech,
Warner had to be quickly rushed
back inside the gates. With his
wife Maureen at his side, he later
addressed a throng that was wild
"We have won," he said, stress-
ing the word "we."
Warner said it was not an easy
campaign up to yesterday morning.
He said he saw so many Prados in
the area he thought someone had
a Prado company in the con-
He likened the by-election cam-
paign to the biblical battle between
David and the giant Goliath.
"We stood up against the might
of a government and won," he said.
Using what is, ironically, one of
the Prime Minister s favourite
expressions, Warner said the results
of the election proved the voice of
the people is the voice of God.
"The voice of 31 party groups
out of 31 is the voice of God."
Warner said if there was one
lesson to be learnt from yesterday s
election results, it was that the
Government must listen to the
people and respond.
He said what was most impor-
tant was the wisdom of the people
of Chaguanas West, who showed
democracy at work.
He added: "Tonight Chaguanas
West demonstrated that I am their
"I am merely reflecting the voice
of Chaguanas West. I am merely
the mouthpiece of the people and
I am honoured to be chosen for
He said Chaguanas West set the
tone for representation and per-
formance and any MP who was
not prepared to do so would do so
at his own peril.
To loud cheers, Warner pledged
to work hard for the entire coun-
try.Victory celebrations began as
early as 8.30 pm when results
coming in indicated Warner was
way in the lead in all the polling
stations. Jubilant shouts filled the
ground as caterers got busy setting
up under tents to distribute free
food and music trucks began blast-
Warner said he would hold a
victory motorcade next Sunday,
beginning at Saith Park, Chagua-
"We are still in the Government,
but it s time for introspection and
That was the word from Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last
night as she conceded defeat in the
Chaguanas West by-election to her
former national security minister
Warner won convincingly over the
UNC s candidate Khadijah Ameen.
The Prime Minister emerged from
a closed room at the UNC s con-
stituency office shortly before 10
pm with Ameen to address the
party s despondent supporters.
She said the UNC had lost the
battle but there were still other wars
to be fought, and told supporters to
get ready for the next battle, which
would be local government elections,
constitutionally due by October.
"The war is still be won," Persad-
She said the UNC was still com-
mitted to the constituency despite
the fact it had now given it to some-
one in opposition to the UNC.
For the Government, she said, the
by-election result "gave us a
moment for reflection and intro-
spection and for us to see what we
can improve on and how we can
better serve all the people of T&T."
Urging her supporters not to be
discouraged, she told them: "You
win some and you lose some. I don t
believe we have lost because we
remain in government.
"Your government remains strong
and intact. We still have 26 seats in
the Parliament and maybe 27. We
still have the majority."
She also promised to honour all
the election pledges to the con-
Ameen said she remained com-
mitted to the UNC and the people
of Chaguanas West.
Earlier, before the PM and Ameen
gave their concession speeches, sev-
eral supporters were seen in tears as
it became evident the UNC had lost.
Most supporters and ministers
present had their eyes glued to the
coverage of Warner s victory speech
just after 9 pm.
A supporter said: "It is time to go
home because it would be more
Another person left dejected, say-
ing he would "prefer to read it in
tomorrow s newspaper."
Another supporter said: "The peo-
ple voted for the individual and not
Many left the constituency office
before the Prime Minister spoke.
PM, Ameen shaken but rally troops: More battles to be won
in ILP victory party
The long faces of the UNC supporters at their Chaguanas West base camp was
evident from early in the night as the loss to Warner's ILP became evident.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
On April 21, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced
the resignation of Warner as National Security Minister shortly
after the release of a Concacaf Integrity Committee report
implicating Warner, its former president, in acts of wrongdoing.
On April 26, five days later, at midnight, Warner announced his
resignation as MP for Chaguanas West. He told constituents it
was the right thing to do considering the circumstances.
He also said he had warned Persad-Bissessar about accepting
In early May, before the official launch of the election
campaign, Warner went into full campaign mode, submitting his
application as a UNC candidate for the seat.
On July 4, he launched his own party, the Independent Liberal
Party after he was rejected by the UNC in favour of Khadijah
A bitter and intense election campaign, with allegations of
thuggery from the UNC camp, followed with the PM accusing
Warner of colluding with the Opposition PNM to bring the
Warner, while making allegations of corruption against
government MPs, claimed he planned to ask Persad-Bissessar to
let him join the coalition People's Partnership Government.
Yesterday, shortly before voting began, Bhandath Ramkir was
murdered in what police believe was a robbery attempt.
Also in the the race for Chaguanas West were the PNM
candidate Avinash Singh; Kirk Meighoo with the Democratic
National Assembly and the National Coalition for Transformation
with Oliver Norman. Ishmael Samad dropped out.
Political scientists have said the results of the election would
influence the local government elections later this year and the
2015 general election.
ANATOMY OF A BY-ELECTION
Links Archive July 29th 2013 July 31st 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page