Candidates, voters: No issues in Quinam/Morne Diablo by-election

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

PNM candidate for Quinam/Morne Diablo Anderson Nanan was confident after casting his vote in the local government by-election on Monday. Nanan lost to the UNC’s Sarah Sookdoe. – Photo by Venessa Mohammed

THE polls closed at 6 pm after a slow day of voting on June 17 in the electoral district of Quinam/Morne Diablo. And both candidates said they were confident they would win.

PNM candidate Anderson Nanan told Newsday of his chances in the local government by-election: “I came in with this with a positive vibe. I came in to win and so far, from what I am seeing, I am going with that.”

He spoke at his campaign office at Penal Rock Road in Penal.The UNC candidate, Sarah Sookdeo, was also confident of victory.”The turnout has been slow but steady,” Sookdeo said, speaking near the Penal Rock Road RC School.”I have done my groundwork. I have reached about 98 per cent of the voters, so I am confident that people would come out and do the right thing. I have no doubt in my mind that we will be victorious this afternoon.”

Earlier in the day, both candidates voted at the SDMS Kubairsingh Penal Rock Road (Hindu) Primary School.

Quinam/Morne Diablo resident Solomon Mohammed after voting in the local government by-election in his district on Monday. – Photo by Venessa Mohammed

Polls opened at 6 am and as expected in a by-election, the turnout was slow.

At the school, voters trickled in. They said the process was fast and smooth. Solomon Mohammed said: “It did not have many people. It took about eight minutes.”I always come out to vote. Some people complain that life is hard, so it is them to blame. I came out to exercise my right.”

Bharat Pariag, 52, and his father Premchan Pariag, 80, also voted at the Hindu school.

“There is no crowd, but I do not know if there was a crowd earlier in the day. I always vote, and my father makes it his business to come out and vote at all elections.”

Bharat Pariag and his father Premchan Pariag after voting in the local government by-election for the Quinam/Morne Diablo district at the SDMS Kubairsingh Penal Rock Road Primary School, Penal on Monday. – Photo by Venessa Mohammed

His father, who uses a walking aid, said he has always voted to show his support.

Premchan added, “One or two people came out to vote. The UNC will win. I have never skipped a voting since I born.”The seat became vacant after the previous councillor, Diptee Ramnath, a UNC representative, died in December.Chairman of the UNC-controlled Penal/Debe Regional Corporation Gowtam Maharaj was the shadow councillor for the district until a new representative is elected.