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Barataria/San Juan candidates, UNC’s Saddam Hosein and PNM’s Jason Williams, right, greet each other before filing nomination papers yesterday.

Close to 100 supporters came out yesterday to support the People’s National Movement’s (PNM) Candidate for Barataria/San Juan Jason Williams.

But as they gathered outside the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) office in the constituency they were told by police officers to social distance and form groups of 25. This was to ensure COVID-19 protocols according to the public health ordinance were adhered to.

“If we could just spread out and maintain the social distancing,” Williams announced on the microphone after stopping the music.

“I’m just asking if we could probably split up into like three groups,” he continued. This was not the case approximately half an hour before when supporters of the United National Congress’ (UNC) Saddam Hosein gathered outside the EBC. Over 100 supporters danced to music from a big truck and tassa.

Outgoing Member of Parliament and former Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan who accompanied Hosein to his nomination said the public health ordinance is being used to suppress the people of Trinidad and Tobago. He said the party told supporters to social distance and wear masks.

“The rubbish that is being peddled in this country is a control rubbish,” Dr Khan said.

Even though some didn’t social distance or wear masks, Dr Khan said he was very satisfied with what he saw outside the EBC office.

The MP who represented the marginal seat for the UNC since 1995 said he believed it was time to find his successor and he did with Hosein.

As Hosein walked out the door after filing nomination his mother Diane Hosein could not hold back the tears. She said she was feeling joy and happiness.

“I am proud of my son,” she said.

Hosein told electors of the marginal seat that while he was a senator he did a lot of groundwork that prepared him to represent as an MP.

“I can’t wait, I can’t wait for Saddam, I can’t wait for the UNC to take it back,” one supporter shouted.

As the UNC made their way along the Eastern Main Road, they clashed with PNM supporters and danced to both tassa and calypso.

“Jason Williams belong to the community of Barataria, San Juan,” one supporter said.

“He has been representing us, not through politics but he has been representing us,” she continued.

Williams was the third candidate to file his nomination, just after the People’s Empowerment Party’s Albertha Purdeen. And even though many of his support dispersed after being asked to social distance, Williams said there were something to adjust on the form but everything was set.

He said he was still learning the world of politics but was happy to serve. “I came with my PNM family, this is enough family,” he said.