Ayanna Webster-Roy during an interview with the media after filing nomination papers at the John Dial Community Centre on Friday.

PNM Tobago East Candidate Ayanna Webster-Roy has dismissed the food card allegations made by her opponent Watson Duke.

Duke alleged that food cards were being distributed without accountability, as an election ploy by the Government to buy votes.

Questioned about the issue after she filed her nomination papers in Tobago on Friday, Webster-Roy said the allegations were baseless.

She said the process was transparent as each person was mandated to sign a declaration form. She said due to the COVID restrictions, cards were personally delivered, but the system was above board

“Desperate men clasp at straws, when you are drowning they will clasp and grab at straws. Mr Duke raised some allegations which have no basis, when we had the opportunity to distribute those food cards under the School Feeding Programme we had a set criteria we had to ensure we met” she said.

Webster-Roy said she worked with the Division of Education and a list was provided. She said each recipient of the 500 food cards had to sign a declaration form. She also admitted that she travelled the length and breadth of Tobago East to deliver some of the cards to facilitate food card recipients they could not find. However, she stressed that the process was free of any form of political victimisation or corruption.

“No corruption, no victimisation, it didn’t matter. When I asked ‘Are you a recipient of a card already?’ I never asked what colour jersey you support or what party you belong to, the only questions I asked, ‘Do you genuinely have children in school on the School Feeding Programme? Are you genuinely in need? And if you read this declaration form and you sign it, are you positive you are not going to open yourself to any criminal offence or any criminal matter?,’ those were the only questions, so that is just nonsense.

“As usual, Mr Duke likes to raise drama when he is under pressure, he is feeling the heat,” she said.

Webster-Roy has two challengers for the Tobago East Constituency—Watson Duke for the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) and Julianna Henry-King for the One Tobago Voice (OTV).