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Singh a dark horse in the race
“If they vote for a clean campaign, he will win. If they vote on the issues, he will win. If they vote for a candidate who did not get down in the gutter with racial talk, he will win. If they don’t vote tribal, he will win.”
This was the view of Senator Terrence Deyalsingh when asked about the chances of the People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate Avinash Singh, winning tomorrow’s Chaguanas West by-election. Deyalsingh spoke to the Sunday Guardian during yesterday’s motorcade throughout Chaguanas. Deyalsingh, according to PNM general secretary Ashton Forde, gave major campaign support to Singh.
Deyalsingh also commented on campaign finance for the elections. “None of the parties who spent the kind of money that has been spent in this election could ever claim to be concerned about campaign financing. You have two parties spending multiple millions in a by-election. Where is the money coming from? Small contributors or contactors, that is the fear,” he said.
The PNM motorcade left the PNM Chaguanas constituency office just after 2 pm. Before taking to the streets, when asked about how he felt he would do in the election race, a very positive Singh said, “If I thought I would lose, I would not be here today.” Other members of the PNM camp were also speaking of victory. Jennifer Baptiste-Primus maintained that all her money was on Singh, declaring that he was the “dark horse.”
Singh hit the road with two pick-up trucks filled with sweet potatoes which he said he had harvested from his garden earlier in the morning. As the motorcade moved through Chaguanas, Singh, at intervals got out of the truck to meet with members of the constituency and hand out some of his sweet potatoes. But as the Sunday Guardian spoke with the beneficiaries of Singh’s largesse, they said that while they felt he was “a good boy,” they would not be giving him their vote.
One group of men along the trail voiced what seemed to be the going sentiment yesterday, “Warner is a worker.” One elderly man, holding his bag of potatoes said, “I cannot lie, I will not vote for Avinash, I voting for Warner, he does help poor people.” It was an uneventful ride with no hostile occurrences.
And then there was Krishna Ramkissoon, one of the PNM members who was screened to contest the by-election but came up short against Singh. At Precious Bar, corner Cacandee Street and Pierre Road, he pulled up, and two men wearing T-shirts bearing the ILP logo came out of his car. Ramkissoon wore nothing showing his political affiliation. “I don’t have to wear anything, everybody know I am PNM,” he declared. One of the men in his green shirt added, “Don’t let a T-shirt fool you, it’s just a T-shirt.”
Present to lend support to Singh were PNM stalwart Joan Yuille-Williams and Paula Gopee-Scoon, among others.
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