Voter turnouts in internal elections are usually a small percentage of the membership and a smaller turnout—because of the COVID virus—had been expected by the winning Persad-Bissessar team in last Sunday’s UNC internal election.
That was the word from successful candidate for deputy leader Dr Lackram Bodoe.
Victorious leader Kamla Persad- Bissessar didn’t respond to queries about the election.
Bodoe was asked about the fact that only 17,195 people came out to vote, out of UNC’s 120,000 eligible voters and what that said for the feelings in the UNC.
Bodoe said, “Though all of our safety measures were in place a lot of the older people would have erred on the side of caution and stayed away.”
On what the UNC needed to do to get everyone on board, Bodoe added, “The UNC has always been an all inclusive party and it’s also now a very diverse party. No one is bigger than our party and our party welcomes all. At the end of the day we’re all UNC.”
Bodoe responded on how UNC will go about rebuilding including ensuring that it has the support of the “knife and fork Indians” who may have supported defeated leadership challenger Vasant Bharath, “No one is bigger than the party and the party welcomes everyone. Every creed and race finds an equal place in the UNC.”
On Bharath’s call to “embrace and integrate all party supporters and sympathisers in restructuring,” Bodoe added, “ It’s no secret that in order to win government we need all hands on board and then some. It’s common knowledge that no political party can win government with its base only.” “UNC’s ground troops are always ready and willing to support the party… they’re our beloved soldiers…. to remove the PNM we would require some of the ‘third constituency’ voters to vote for us in the marginals.
Bodoe couldn’t speak on plans to meet Bharath on his offer to assist in rebuilding. But Bodoe said “I did promise to stand alongside my leader to begin the healing process and I have no doubt we’ ll start to heal as a party soon.”
Incoming chairman Dave Tancoo said, “The membership has spoken eloquently, endorsing the leadership of Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her team.
Preliminary results suggest every member of the Kamla team got about 650 per cent more votes than the competing slate.”
“We await final election results from the Internal Elections Management Committee. Thereafter there are procedures to be followed for swearing in the newly elected national executive, and for the executive to meet and finalise the way forward,” he added.