UNC candidate for Moruga/Tableland Michelle Benjamin interacts with her polling agents at St Mary's, Moruga

RADHICA DE SILVA
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Discrepancies have been reported by the UNC at five polling stations in the hotly contested Moruga/Tableland seat.

PNM candidate Winston Peters voted as a special elector, but the UNC’s Michelle Benjamin went to the St Marys Government Primary school to cast her ballot shortly after 9 am.

Speaking to Guardian Media, Benjamin said the UNC had some setbacks which were later sorted out by its legal team.

“At this polling station, the presiding officer moved our mock station. She was being a little… I don’t want to use those words… But the system is still functioning even though they were moving individuals,” Benjamin said.

She explained that at the New Grant Government School, the UNC’s legal team again had to intervene when the presiding officer refused to allow the polling agent and the subagent to view the ballot box when it was first opened.

“In Marac RC we had problems with moving of the mock station. There was a problem in Kanhai Presbyterian school as well and my legal team sorted it out,” she said.

UNC candidate for Moruga/Tableland Michelle Benjamin voted at St Mary’s Government Primary School, Moruga

Benjamin said she was pleased that voting went smoothly.

“In the constituency, we had minor issues, but we think that voting will pick up again at noon,” Benjamin said.

She explained that there were hundreds of people at the Cowen Hamilton Secondary School which housed three polling stations.

When Guardian Media visited the school, dozens of people had lined up in front of the building. Voting flowed smoothly but some electors like Gajraj Ramjattan said he hoped that the process could have been faster.

“I spent about one hour in the line, but I am happy I got through,” Ramjattan said.

Glen Graham was eager to say the party he voted for saying, “I vote for Gypsy, he is from the rising sun.”

Gypsy had been part of the UNC but switched and became the PNM candidate for the area.

The campaign in the area turned violent earlier this week when then former councillor Phillip Gonzales was stabbed four times.

Gonzales, 58, was sitting in a maxi taxi at Basse Terre Village, Moruga, when he had a confrontation with another man. The suspect pulled out a blade and stabbed Gonzales before fleeing on foot. He remains warded in a stable condition at the San Fernando General Hospital.