Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 4th 2013 Contents YOUNG PARANDEROS
Monday, November 4, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
For 2010 general elections, retiree
Percy Villafana became an overnight
sensation after blocking former Prime
Minister Patrick Manning from his
family s San Juan residence during a
People s National Movement (PNM)
His crossed arms fuelled a campaign
across the nation urging then opposition
supporters to "do so" when approached
by the PNM.
Three years later with Monday s by-
election in the seat of the man on whose
platform he appeared on in 2010---ex
MP Herbert Volney---Villafana is home
in Canada and not interested in T&T
politics his sister Joan said. "And neither
am I," she added.
Monday s St Joseph by-election, pro-
jected to be a tight race between the
major parties is critical to the ruling
People s Partnership coalition, the Oppo-
sition PNM and fledgling---some say
failing---Independent Liberal Party (ILP)
moreso than the recent local government
This, after the local government elec-
tion result which saw only a three cor-
porations (plus one tie) difference
between PNM s victory and UNC s loss.
The UNC will aim to upset PNM s
political foothold, or at worst retain tra-
ditional areas in the seat enough to sur-
pass ILP and save face as with the local
government election results.
PNM after a much touted local gov-
ernment victory and hyped projection
of winning general polls has been put
on the spot to maintain face and ensure
it wins, not only to increase to 13 seats,
but also prove it s genuinely expanding
and October 21 success wasn t an aber-
ration. Because of the PP/ILP split, how-
ever, PNM is highly confident of success
in this northern area.
ILP will have to best both to ensure
the future of party and leader Jack Warn-
er whose political reputation was
wounded on October 21 and can hardly
further risk "the Queen hanging the
The three main candidates convey
PNM s courting of the Indo T&T com-
munity, vital to leader Keith Rowley s
national image-tweaking drive (Terrence
Deyalsingh), PP s replacement of the
Warner high profile/performance model
(Ian Alleyne) and ILP s urgency to bolster
its faltering image (Om Lalla).
Elections and Boundaries Commission
local government results show the UNC
beat ILP two to one in the five corpo-
rations UNC won, polling its highest
total (32,528) in the
Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional cor-
poration. Highest vote was in Barrack-
pore West (3,287).
ILP s largest total---19,544---was in
UNC s Couva district with rising ILP
support in three pockets.
ILP s highest votes were in Kelly Vil-
lage (2,254) against COP s ( 2,223).
Despite Warner s claim COP is "dead,"
COP bested ILP in Port-of-Spain and
PNM s highest total (37,788) was in
Tunapuna corporation and highest vote
Combined UNC/ILP votes would have
beaten PNM in Sangre Grande and
COP/ILP would have been close in
But the combination wouldn t have
beaten PNM in San Juan/Laventille, or
in PNM s five stronghold corporations
where PNMites say their new youth
Still, combined PP members votes
(155,353) plus ILP s total (102,801) would
indeed have bested PNM s 188,894 total.
It confirms UNC s split vote view and
that a majority doesn t support PNM.
Among the dozen factors involved,
certain St Joseph pockets are crucial for
Monday s polls, expected to be a snap-
shot for 2015 general polls,.
Warner on the Chaguanas deadlock
softened his position, saying ILP and
UNC should shelve differences and try
to work things out.
Monday s results will be pivotal in
how that is resolved next week. But ILP s
campaign lacked a conducive environ-
ment. While Warner said ILP stooped
"too low" in its local government cam-
paign, Lalla later declared he had "files
On to today to see what the "split
vote," coupled with the personalities and
platforms proffered to St Joseph, will
produce. And whose future will be at
People s National Movement
(PNM) candidate in the St Joseph
by-election Terrence Deyalsingh
said it would be difficult for a
candidate contesting the election
to easily fool the St Joseph con-
Deyalsingh was commenting on
reports in the media suggesting
United National Congress (UNC)
candidate Ian Alleyne was using
state funds during his campaign
to launch community projects.
Speaking to the media yesterday,
before the start of his motorcade,
Deyalsingh said: "The people of
St Joseph are smart and decent
enough to see through those
Regarding the advertisements
by the Independent Liberal Party
and the UNC where the both par-
ties were criticising each other,
Deyalsingh said there was no need
for the PNM to engage in that type
"For this entire campaign I have
said nothing about any other can-
didate and I don t intend to break
that today. I am focused on what
I have to do."
Despite the results of the latest
NACTA poll which placed Deyals-
ingh out front in the race for the
seat, he said campaigning would
continue until the end.
"I can tell you what I don t feel---
complacent. I am going after every
single vote. We are going through
the entire constituency today (Sun-
day) and we are fighting every sin-
gle last vote today."
The PNM s motorcade began at
East Grove Development, Southern
Main Road, Curepe, and made its
way to Champs Fleurs along the
Eastern Main Road. Dozens of sup-
porters turned out bearing the
party s flags.
Deyalsingh urged his supporters
to go to the polls to vote. His first
task if he becomes member of Par-
liament is to deal with poverty, job
creation and infrastructure in the
Independent Liberal Party candi-
date in the St Joseph by-election,
Om Lalla said yesterday that the
outcome of the polls conducted prior
to an election is not necessarily an
accurate picture of the voting pattern
of the electorate.
"Any area whether traditional PNM
or UNC, we (ILP) has gotten fabulous
support from the people. I don t think
any poll could properly represent this
constituency because it is too diverse
of a constituency to have a poll, you
can t compare the Bangladesh to the
Valsayn, to the Mt Hope. It s too
diverse in the different pockets."
Accompanied by interim political
leader Jack Warner, Lalla s motorcade
began in Aranguez at his campaign
office and moved into North Valsayn
yesterday, then to Bamboo Number
At North Valsayn, not many people
came out of their homes to show
support but Lalla was not daunted.
Police officers were present to con-
trol the traffic as the motorcade
moved out of North Valsayn.
At East Grove Development, Val-
sayn, the ILP and the People s Nation-
al Movement clashed on the com-
pound but ILP left soon after. (NS)
United National Congress
(UNC) candidate for St Joseph,
Ian Alleyne yesterday attempted
to deliver on his promise to "deal"
with his detractors and took shots
at both People s National Move-
ment (PNM) leader Dr Keith
Rowley and his former ally Om
Lalla, the candidate under the
Independent Liberal Party (ILP).
He said Rowley refused him as
a prospective member because "he
could not handle the truth."
"You toting feelings," he said,
directing his comments to Row-
ley.He said Lalla lived in a $20 mil-
lion home in Valsayn, "never took
a taxi" and was not one of the
people as he was.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar once again called on the
electorate to "hold her hand" in
support for today s by-election.
"Go out and vote, go out and
vote, go out and vote," she said.
Speaking at the United National
Congress last lap rally on the eve
of the by-election, Persad-Bisses-
sar said in 40 years the People s
National Movement have not been
able to deliver while their candi-
date Ian Alleyne had started 25
projects in just two weeks.
"We will work with Ian
Alleyne," she said.
In more election goodies news,
Persad-Bissessar said tenders were
already out for the construction
of a new police station in the con-
In her short delivery, Persad-
Bissessar said 71 per cent of the
population had water and com-
pared that to the 18 per cent under
"Do not ever forget," she said.
She said "who vex loss" but the
people of St Joseph will benefit
with Alleyne as their representa-
tive. She detailed the roads and
drains work already accomplished.
"We delivered over 36,000
metres of repaved and rehabili-
tated roads, together with over
10,000 metres of new drainage,"
Other speakers endorsing
Alleyne on the UNC platform
included Planning Minister Dr
Bhoe Tewarie and National Secu-
rity Minister Gary Griffith.
Griffith also accused the PNM
of spying on local journalists and
listed their names, including for-
mer Guardian editor Francis
Joseph, who is currently the Press
Secretary of Prime Minister Kamla
He said Rowley was not being
truthful when he said he did not
have security for the past three
years. Griffith said he, as National
Security Minister, spoke with
Rowley to set up security escorts
but was refused.
Students from St Mary's Anglican Primary School practise outside the El Dorado West Secondary School,
yesterday before going on stage to perform at the bpTT National Primary School Parang semifinals.
PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
Tight race for
St Joseph seat
Alleyne can get the job done---PM
St Joseph people not easy to fool---Deyalsingh Polls don't paint accurate picture---Lalla
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