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PNM and UNC supporters interact with each other along the SS Erin Road in Penal, where their candidates were filing nomination papers for the August 10 General Election on yesterday.

Political parties whose candidates are engaging in election campaigning that leads to more than 25 people congregating in the same space and flouting Public Health Regulations may end up having to answer to the TTPS.

Addressing the nation during Saturday’s COVID-19 media briefing, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh described the behaviour by supporters of all the political parties on Friday as “an aberration.”

Friday was Nomination Day in T&T and all candidates contesting seats in the August 10 general election were required to file their nomination papers with the returning officers in their respective constituencies.

Candidates are often accompanied by large crowds of supporters and music trucks, tassa and even artistes. While supporters were reminded of the need to adhere to public health regulations including wearing of face masks, social distancing and not gathering in groups of more than 25, it was apparent from social media videos that these regulations were not followed.

The minister said nomination day was usually an emotionally-charged event which often results in the mixing of supporters from the two major political parties.

Deyalsingh said, “Let’s hope what happened yesterday (Friday) was an aberration, it’s a one-off and look forward to the cooperation of all candidates including myself as we move forward.”

He urged all parties to ensure their supporters wear masks and sanitise while out campaigning, even as they maintained the requisite space.

Asked what would be the consequences for those not following regulations, Deyalsingh said it would be left to the police to enforce it. But he appealed to people to let good sense prevail.