The People’s National Movement (PNM) Public Relations Officer, Laurel Lezama-Lee Sing says there were reports from the Barataria/San Juan constituency on polling day that voters were being offered $1000 to change their votes.
The United National Congress (UNC) was able to hold on to that marginal constituency, with candidate Saddam Hosein defeating the PNM’s Jason Williams in Monday’s election.
In an interview with Guardian Media yesterday, Lee Sing said the PNM was also told that there were a group of men canvassing outside polling stations in that constituency.
“We also had some reports that people attempting to solicit votes by virtue of inducement in Barataria/San Juan- the campaign teams in the constituency did, in fact, raise concerns about those issues, we were told that they were being offered $1000,” Lee Sing said.
Guardian Media’s Radica De Silva asked UNC PRO, Anita Haynes, at a UNC press conference yesterday whether the party was aware of the claims being made by the PNM about voter soliciting in the hotly contested marginal.
Hayne said, “No, I don’t know. You should share that with me now, I could write that down.”
Lee Sing also said the party was told there were deliberate attempts to frustrate voters in Chaguanas East- where the UNC’s Vandana Mohit defeated the PNM’s Clarence Rambharat to hold on to that marginal.
“We saw it in Chaguanas East for the most part people stayed in the lines but the lines were long and the claims were that were deliberate attempts to frustrate the process,” she said.
When she was asked who was reportedly trying to frustrate the process, Lee Sing said, “The words were just deliberate attempts to frustrate the voting process, they said that the teams inside took really long to process people.”
When questioned about whether those irregularities were reported to the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), Lee Sing said she would check with the party’s campaign manager and pass on their response. However subsequent calls and messages to her cellphone went unanswered.