UNC: Low voter turnout in PNM election signals no confidence in Rowley

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

San Fernando mayor Junia Regrello places his ballot in a box at the Pleasantville Secondary School, Pleasantville during early voting for the PNM’s internal election – AYANNA KINSALE

The UNC says, what it calls, the low voter turnout at the PNM internal election was a show of no-confidence in the Prime Minister.

Former senator Taharqa Obika made the statement at the UNC’s virtual Monday report.

“In the era of the one member, one vote, in national political parties in TT, Keith Rowley has gotten what has to be the lowest votes for political leadership in an internal election in a national party – less than 9,000 votes.

“I got more votes than that as the Tobago representative in the internal election in the UNC. It means that is really a vote of no confidence by the members of the PNM. The financial, card-carrying members of the PNM have no confidence in their political leader, the sitting prime minister Keith Rowley.”

Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh said the PNM had to work hard to get the 8,868 people out to vote.

“Rowley, you are indeed a failed leader. They had to pull people, drag people, pay people to balisier in the Queen’s Park Savannah. That’s why they put it over three days, because they knew in one day they couldn’t get 8,000-plus votes for Rowley, so they dragged it out.

“They had to telephone, they had to pay, they had to transport and they had to beg people, and that’s why today they’re boasting 8,000 votes after three days. So if they don’t have confidence in you in the PNM, you want us, the people of TT, to have confidence in you? No way Rowley, no way.”

Rowley received 8,424 votes, former finance minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira received 345 votes, while Junior Barrack, another leadership contender, received 99 votes.

In the UNC’s internal election in June, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar defeated former health minister Dr Fuad Khan, polling 11,554 votes to Khan’s 644.