Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 22nd 2013 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Employers should allow certain Point
Fortin voters time off to vote again today
after yesterday s suspension of voting at
two Point polling stations, the Elections
and Boundaries Commission (EBC) says.
The EBC ordered the immediate suspen-
sion of voting yesterday at polling station
4696 at Guapo Government Primary School
in the electoral district of Techier/Guapo
and also at polling station 4730 at Point
Fortin RC Primary School in the electoral
district of Newlands/Mahaica.
The EBC, which is investigating, said the
suspension was necessary after it was found
that a number of electors had voted using
the wrong ballot paper in those voting sta-
The PNM, ILP and NJAC (PP) contested
in the two polling areas. There are six seats
in the Point Fortin corporation area.
Voting in the two polling stations resumes
between 6 am and 6 pm today and all those
whose names are on the revised list of elec-
tors for polling stations 4696 and 4730 will
be allowed to vote. This includes those elec-
tors who voted before the error was dis-
covered, the EBC said.
Candidates contesting the election in
those electoral districts and officers of their
parties were informed of the situation.
Announcements advising electors of the
change will be made by mobile public
address systems within each of the two
EBC chief elections officer Ramesh Nanan
said last night the necessary preparations
were in train for voting to continue today.
Nanan called on employers to allow voters
from the two Point Fortin polling stations
the necessary time off---according to the
Representation of the People Act---again
today, in order to cast their ballot.
He said continuation of voting on another
day was not unprecedented, as in the 2003
local government poll voting had to be con-
tinued on the day after owing to a similar
situation in the Balmain/Forres Park/Claxton
Other EBC officials said the error at the
two Point polling stations was discovered
"fairly early" yesterday, after 89 people had
They said the ballot papers which had
gone to those two stations did not have the
correct candidates names.
Other political sources said the mix-up
involved candidates with the same names.
EBC Point Fortin presiding officer Patrick
Phillip declined to speak about the situa-
The Independent Liberal Party may not
even survive until 2015, attorney Dana
Seetahal suggested last night.
Seetahal voiced doubts about the ILP s
ability to survive its disappointing local
government election results, saying it had
plateaued after the Chaguanas West by-
election and sustained bruising attacks
during this latest campaign.
"I just wonder whether they can take it
and make it through to 2015," she said in
a discussion on i95FM, which also included
journalist Dr Sheila Rampersad and former
PNM senator Mariano Browne.
Rampersad described the ILP s loss in
Felicity as "a shock" and all three guests
agreed that the UNC s campaign message
(not to split the PP vote by voting for former
PP minister Jack Warner) was a big factor
in the ILP s poor showing.
Seetahal added that despite the ILP s
claim to be representing racial political
unity, "In all of (the ILP) campaign I didn t
hear a clear message except Vote for Jack ."
Rampersad said voters had expressed
their concern that "Warner doesn t have
the machinery to deliver on a national level
as he does in concentrated constituencies."
Rampersad also described the prime
minister s speech as a "pre-emptive con-
cession speech (tinged with) relief at holding
off the ILP and defending what they have."
She also suggested the ILP had replaced
the COP as the third party in the country,
judging by the popular vote.
ILP chairman Robin Montano had spoken
about the ILP s mission to end the racial
divide in T&T politics, but the commen-
tators felt the election results represented
a return to traditional tribal politics. Browne
said all three parties would need to move
away from race, citing the last census which
showed an increasing number of people in
T&T described themselves as "mixed," sug-
gesting race would play less of a part in
politics in years to come.
Browne described the Prime Minister as
"brave" for calling the elections despite
the poor ratings of her party and described
himself as happy with the number of PNM
constituency gains. He said the results sig-
nalled the end of the People s Partnership,
as the government was now effectively just
Rampersad agreed, saying, "The UNC
went back to its base and the PNM s base
is coming back with a resurgence. It remains
to be seen whether (the PNM) has extended
beyond its traditional base."
She said PNM leader Keith Rowley had
"pulled himself up tall" and the PNM had
executed a "strong and focused campaign
and were not distracted by what was going
on on the other two platforms."
Former prime minister Patrick Manning yesterday
has said this term will be his last in electoral pol-
"I have already said that when I finish with this
term of office I am going to ride off into the sunset,"
said the San Fernando East MP after casting his ballot
at the San Fernando Methodist Primary School, Mon
Manning, who was with his wife Hazel, gave a
brief interview to reporters outside the polling sta-
He was responding to a question on whether he
will be contesting the leadership of the People s
National Movement (PNM.)
The former prime minister said healthwise he was
"It is not as good as yours but I will make it. I will
make it," he told reporters.
San Fernando West MP and Minister of Public
Administration Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan and her
mother, Irma Seepersad, also showed up to vote.
Seepersad-Bachan and Hazel warmly embraced
each other at the entrance to the polling station.
Manning was inside the polling station at the time.
They were all voting in the Springvale/Paradise elec-
toral district under the San Fernando City Corpora-
Five minutes later, the Mannings emerged waving
their red-ink stained fingers.
Manning said the voting process was good.
"It was easy, no problems, no problems at all. You
want to know what I did? Everybody knows what I
will do," Manning said, laughing.
Seepersad-Bachan said she and her mother did
not encounter any problems.
She told reporters now that the elections were over
she believed the COP ran a good campaign.
"We kept it local, we wanted to deal with local
issues because we felt that it was local government
and I thought we did a very good campaign," she
ILP may not survive until 2015
Same name, different place
It was a mix-up in the ballot papers
for two People s National Movement can-
didates for Point Fortin with the same
last name that led to the suspension of
voting at two polling station.
The two candidates are Sherwin St
Hillaire, the candidate for Techier/Guapo,
and Janelle St Hilaire, candidate for New-
Yesterday morning, a voter brought to
the attention of the presiding officer at
the Point Fortin RC School in the district
of Newlands/Mahaica that the wrong St
Hillaire was on the ballot paper.
Initially, calls were made to the voters
who had already cast their votes to come
back and vote again. Only four returned.
Local Government Minister Marlene
Coudray was informed and called the
An official from the San Fernando dis-
trict was sent to the polling division and
all voting was suspended until today.
Former Prime Minister and San Fernando East MP
Patrick Manning and his wife former Education
minister, Hazel Manning smile after casting their
ballots at the San Fernando Methodist School
yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
EBC to employers
Give Point voters
time off today
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