Jack: Govt Ministers campaigned
By MIRANDA LA ROSE Tuesday, July 30 2013
INDEPENDENT Liberal Party (ILP) leader Jack Warner yesterday claimed Government ministers arrived in Chaguanas yesterday to continue their campaign for United National Congress (UNC) candidate Khadijah Ameen, contrary to EBC laws.
“All the Cabinet members have descended on Chaguanas West. They are campaigning here in Felicity contrary to the laws,” Warner yesterday told Newsday. ILP campaign manager and election agent Indra Maraj, told Newsday shortly after midday that ILP supporters who went out early to vote reported that the polling process was smooth but they were disturbed by last minute campaigning by by UNC officials.
ILP member Anil Suchit told Newsday he came upon several Government ministers in Munroe Road including Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration Clifton De Coteau, Minister of the Environment Ganga Singh and Minister of Food Production Devant Maharaj.
While voting was going on by the Chaguanas Roman Catholic School and nearby polling stations in the constituency, hired workers and supporters of the ILP were setting the stage for the release of the results at the Invincible Recreation Grounds in Charlieville, where supporters were due to gather to celebrate the victory in the Chaguanas West bye- election. Two giant screens were set up for the release of the results.
UNC candidate for the Chaguanas West bye-election Khadijah Ameen responding to claims of Government Ministers engaging in campaigning on election day, saying some ministers were acting as sub-agents said, “There is nothing wrong with a minister being a sub-agent or a polling agent. In fact nothing prevents that in this case.” Questioned whether it was usual to have ministers in the role of sub-agents Ameen replied, “There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Asked if he was campaigning for the UNC, Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj said: “This is Trinidad and Tobago, eh? Isn’t this Trinidad and Tobago? As far as I recall I am a citizen and I am free to be anywhere in Trinidad and Tobago. And I’m a part of a political party that is taking part in this election.”
Questioned directly whether he was in Chaguanas West canvassing, Maharaj responded: “I am a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and this is my party contesting Chaguanas West. I have every right to be in Chaguanas West.”