Trinidad and Tobago – Former Chaguanas West MP, Mr. Jack Warner, has won the Chaguanas West election by a landslide.
By 9:30pm yesterday, Mr. Warner had 12,631 votes to secure a comprehensive lead in the race. His political rival, the UNC’s Khadijah Ameen, secured 5,126 votes, the PNM’s Avinash Singh got 422 votes while the DNA and NCT secured 11 votes each.
The bye-election was called after Mr. Warner resigned as Chaguanas West MP, UNC Chairman and the National Security Minister in April, following the release of the Sir David Simmons Report on corrupt practices in CONCACAF.
In his victory speech, Mr. Warner thanked supporters but noted that there were challenges, even on bye-election day.
But he said like David who came up against Goliath, his Independent Liberal Party (ILP) triumphed.
“We came up against the might of an entire Cabinet and we won. And we came up against the highest level of vindictiveness that you could see ever practice on a people and we won. Against all odds, you Chaguanas West, remained faithful and tonight we have emerged victorious. Up to this morning, I got the impression as if you had a new Prado company in Chaguanas West. I have never seen so much black Prados, tinted, air-conditioned, in my life, in one place as I saw this morning here. So I say to you it was not easy.”
The returning MP said the voice of the Chaguanas West is the voice of God and it showed the wisdom of constituents who voted for representation.
“Tonight, I say a new era has dawned. I am merely a messenger, a mouthpiece of the community and I am honoured to be chosen for that role. I am motivated to work even harder, not only for Chaguanas West but for the entire country. Chaguanas West represents the beacon of change. Chaguanas West is a constituency that now points the way for the rest of the country. By your vote tonight, you are saying that governance must be from the ground up, not the top down. You are saying that the people have to be respected.”
Mr. Warner said Chaguanas West has started a paradigm shift in politics and Parliamentarians who forget what representation means to the people do so at their own peril.
He promised to represent every child, man and woman who live in Chaguanas West.
The returning MP invited supporters and well wishers to a “Thank You Motorcade” this Sunday. The motorcade starts at Saith Park at 10am and ends at Pierre Road.
The MP Elect also reassured supporters that his Independent Labour Party is no “Johnny Come Lately” and will be around for a very long time.
Meanwhile, Mr. Warner’s closest contender, Khadijah Ameen, in her concession speech, thanked those “UNC soldiers” who conducted a clean campaign.
She said in their walkabouts, they saw many areas where lives were touched and she is confident that the work of the UNC will continue in Chaguanas West.
Ms. Ameen thanked the Prime Minister who walked through many districts in the lead-up to the election.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar also addressed supporters at the UNC camp in Chaguanas West.
She said the defeat is just one battle in many, as the war is still to be won.
“I offer congratulations to the former Member of Parliament who has now been returned as the Member of Parliament for Chaguanas West. I wish him good luck in his endeavours. But I say to you all, we are still the Government. The Government remains strong and there will be more days to come and this too shall pass.”
The Prime Minister said the loss is a lesson and would allow the Government some time for introspection – to see what they can improve upon and how they can better serve the people.
“You win some and you lose some. I do not believe that we have lost because we are still in Government. Do not be discouraged. Do not lose heart. Your Government remains strong and intact. We still have 26 seats in the Parliament, and maybe 27 depending on what happens. We still have the majority in the Parliament.”
The PNM’s Avinash Singh was the first to concede defeat in the polls at around 9:15pm on Monday.
His Political Leader, Dr. Keith Rowley, tweeted soon after Mr. Singh’s concession that the Government had lost its mandate and as such, he urged the Prime Minister to call General Elections.
Dr. Rowley continued: “T&T, we are in a sad place given the result in CW. This will get worse before it gets better. We implore the Prime Minister to put Trinidad & Tobago first and call General Election NOW!!! Instead of solving our county’s problems the KPB Gov’t is creating problems for us.” [ctntworld.com]