Only 17, 195 of the UNC’s 120,000 eligible voters turned out for Sunday’s party election.
The low turnout figure was confirmed yesterday by UNC election team chairman Ramesh Persad- Maharaj.
He said the voter turnout figure was around 15 per cent.
The election team also released official results for last Sunday’s internal election which incumbent leader Kamla Persad- Bissessar’s star team won.
Some boxes from polling stations in Toco and a few other areas were still coming in up to yesterday morning. By 3.30 pm the results were released.
Persad- Bissessar retained the leadership with 14,833 votes – less than her leadership election wins in 2015 and 2017. She however got the highest number of votes cast for any candidate in this internal election.
The person receiving the second highest number of votes cast in last Sunday’s poll was her Star team colleague, Sean Sobers who contested the post of Policy/Strategy officer. He received 14, 480 votes.
Defeated leadership challenger Vasant Bharath received 2,362 votes. This was more than the 1,305 votes he polled in 2015 when he challenged Persad- Bissessar then.
Bharath had conceded last Sunday night after Persad- Bissessar claimed victory when votes rolled in showing her Star team in the majority. She said there had been voter suppression due to COVID-19 restrictions. She also noted some voter intimidation.
Bharath congratulated Persad- Bissessar and her team and offered to be of assistance “in the urgent and extensive exercise of rebuilding and renewing the UNC. – but he slammed a number of irregularities which he claimed occurred.
The 14,833 votes Persad- Bissessar received last Sunday were almost 1,000 more than the votes she obtained in January 2010 she first won UNC’s leadership from then leader Basdeo Panday . She won 13, 932 votes to Panday’s 1, 359 . Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj also got 1,072 votes.
After Persad- Bissessar’s PP Government lost the 2015 general elections, she won UNC’s leadership with 17,502 votes against Bharath (1,305) and Roodal Moonilal (1,821 ).
She also won the leadership again in 2017 internals with 20, 328 votes to Christine Newallo-Hosein’s 114 and Chanda Bhaggan’s 45.
Although the UNC didn’t contest general elections in Tobago and isn’t contesting upcoming Tobago House of Assembly polls , Star team candidate for the post of Tobago Regional Co-ordinator, Bheemal Ramlogan received 13, 879 votes as opposed to Lotus team candidate Barrington Thomas, who got 1,845 votes.