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the final results---
Boodan five votes,
Heera four votes,
Maraj two and one
The UNC min-
isters, as well as
thumped the table
as Boodan was
mayor, receiving five votes. ILP councillors Isahak
and Mahabir and Maraj opted not to participate
in the secret ballot voting process.
Mohammed s vote also allowed the UNC to
seize chairmanship of the Finance, Planning and
Allocation, Personnel and Public Health Com-
mittees, after Isahak, Mahabir and Maraj again
opted not to participate.
Warner was heard telling Mohammed, "It good,
it good for you. You want to vote."
Mohammed ignored his former leader and kept
to himself during the session. He did not speak
to his former ILP colleagues either.
Isahak later nominated Mohammed for chairman
of the Physical Infrastructure Committee, which
surprised everyone gathered to witness the pro-
ceedings. Maraj seconded the nomination.
PNM councillors nominated Enterprise South
councillor Heera as chairman for the committee,
but he was defeated five votes to four.
For each of the four voting sessions for chair-
manship of the committees, the ILP councillors
and alderman collected their ballots and imme-
diately folded them without writing their votes
in a form of continued protests.
Outgoing mayor Orlando Nagessar, in his farewell
speech, called on the councillors to put aside their
bitterness and work together.
He said the time had come, however, for citizens
to be given the chance to vote for their own mayor
and deputy mayor. He suggested that nominees
for the posts be included on the ballot paper along
with the councillors.
Khan said he was pleased yesterday s process
ran smoothly. He said judging from the results,
it was clear that contrary to rumours, the PNM
did not engage in horse-trading nor was any deal
struck between the party and the ILP.
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"I did it in the interest of the
people of Chaguanas."
This was expelled Independ-
ent Liberal Party Charlieville
councillor Faaiq Mohammed
defiant declaration yesterday,
after voting with the United
National Congress (UNC) to
elect Gopaul Boodan as the new
Mohammed, who left the
Chaguanas Borough Corporation
immediately after yesterday s
session for his Charlieville home
to pray or offer namaaz, said his
decision to vote with the UNC
was the right thing to do.
Even though he faced stinging
criticism from his former leader,
Jack Warner, Mohammed
emphatically stated: "I stand by
Yesterday, Mohammed joined
with UNC councillors to elect
Boodan as mayor and UNC
councillor Debideen Manick as
deputy mayor. At the session,
the UNC seized control of all
the standing committees and
Mohammed was elected chair-
man of the Physical Infrastruc-
Attorneys Israel Khan, SC,
and Larry Lalla were on hand
to observe the proceedings, as
were a number of politicians
from the three main political
parties---ILP, PNM and UNC.
Mohammed said he believed
that everyone who voted at yes-
terday s proceedings "voted in
the best interest of the people"
and that was clearly shown.
The Charlieville councillor
said he chose to vote with the
UNC because he believed it was
the right choice.
"I was expelled from a party
(the ILP) and I voted with the
(party with) second highest voter
turnout. With their support, plus
my support, we will have the
majority and that is why I pro-
ceeded to vote in that direction,"
Mohammed said he was not
surprised by the actions of his
former ILP colleagues during
yesterday s session.
"I was expecting something
to happen," he said.
ILP alderman Falisha Isahak
and Indrawatie Maraj and ILP
councillor Simeon Mahabir
withheld their votes during the
election of committee chairs.
Mahabir, meanwhile, voted for
himself as mayor even though
Maraj was the ILP s nominee.
It seemed, however, that the
seriousness of yesterday s session
was lost on many who attended
the proceedings. For example,
Isahak and Maraj heckled
Mohammed during the voting
process and even nominated him
Mohammed said he was sur-
prised that he was nominated
and did not believe they were
"That caught me by surprise.
I do not know the reason why
they nominated me. I do not
think they were genuine.
"They were laughing and get-
ting a lot of jokes. I think they
did it as a joking matter. They
were making fun of the whole
process and how it was taking
place," he said.
However, Mohammed con-
sidered the chairmanship ben-
eficial since he said it would help
him to work better for the people
of his electoral district and
He said he was not phased by
the adverse comments being
made about him.
"My first action is to clear my
name by serving the people well
and just making sure that every-
body is served properly," he said.
Speaking after the council
proceedings, Warner warned
that the ILP still holds the decid-
ing power in the corporation
with its three votes.
"As you can see from what
happened here, based on that,
you can see any time we choose
we can bring down the corpo-
ration. We can with our three
votes, anytime we choose, any-
time we choose," he said.
However, he said any decision
to thwart the council would be
done on a case-by-case basis.
Mohammed s decision to vote
with the UNC to elect the mayor
and deputy, Warner said: "At
the end of the day he
(Mohammed) was paid to do a
mission and he did quite well
and we have made no effort to
frustrate it here. Let this place
be governed by a council of five
He said it was the ILP s deci-
sion not to participate in the
voting process for chairman of
"The UNC used bribery to
frustrate the work of the council
and democracy and we regis-
tered our protest against that,"
still has power
Mohammed undaunted by ILP taunts:
I did it for the people
Expelled Independent Liberal Party (ILP) councillor Faaiq
Mohammed casts his ballot during voting session for the
Chaguanas mayor at the Chaguanas City Hall yesterday.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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