Wait Nah. The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), which was chastised for extending the voting by an hour in last September 7 general elections, seems to have gotten it wrong again. This time in the Local Government Elections.
Four United National Congress (UNC) candidates in the upcoming local government election, have been listed as People’s National Movement (PNM) candidates by the EBC.
For this reason, political leader of theUNC, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, is calling on the EBC to desist from any further publication of the information.
In the Express on Wednesday, the EBC published information on all the polling districts in Trinidad and the candidates who will be representing the respective political parties. Persad-Bissessar, on the same day wrote to Ramesh Nanan, chief elections officer, requesting a public retraction and reprinting and circulation of the corrected information in the print and electronic media.
The letter was read out to UNC supporters by Persad-Bissessar on Wednesday night, during a UNC meeting at ASJA Boys, College, San Fernando.
The letter stated: “The damage that has already occurred as a result of this publication is irreparable as many persons who are eligible to vote in the upcoming elections have raised their concerns about the inaccuracies contained in your publication. It is entirely unsatisfactory, disappointing and untenable for this to have occurred shortly after the EBC was found to have acted illegally in the last general elections. It is now an affront to common sense to assume that is yet another unintentional misstep by the EBC which has results adverse to the United National Congress.”
The UNC candidates listed as PNM candidates were Giomar Rodriguez, a representative for St. James West, Kheymweti Chulan- Rochard/Barrackpore East, Chris Hosein- Reform/Manahambre and Chanardaye Ramadharsingh-Otaheiti/Rousillac.
Ramadharsingh is the mother of former Minister of the People, Dr. Glenn Ramadharsingh. Persad-Bissessar also stated that 14 names had spelling errors and names were not published for eight electoral districts.
The letter stated: “We are aware of the significant confusion that these errors have caused in the minds of voters. These actions of the EBC have the potential to undermine the democratic process that is an essential element of our country being a sovereign democratic state.”
Persad-Bissessar called on supporters to make sure they put their “X” next to the UNC’s rising sun symbol. That way, regardless if names were spelled correctly on the ballot paper or not, if there was a mix-up in the party in party representation, the UNC would still secure its vote she said.