After only receiving a total of 31 votes in her constituency in the Whim/Bloomfield local authority area, Alliance For Change (AFC) candidate Mavis Nagamootoo has said she believes that some of her supporters were intimidated by persons from other political parties.
And although she did not emerge victorious, Nagamootoo is nonetheless satisfied with the results.
“I feel good; we got one PR [proportional representation] seat and I won’t give up,” she said.
Nagamootoo explained that she expected more persons to come out and vote in her favour, since “a lot of people supported us when we go around and campaign.”
However, she added, “I think because of certain things they back off.”
She alleged, “They keep moving here, there and everywhere, asking the people to vote for them and fooling the people. I saw them moving about in all seven constituencies, telling people not to vote for us… Because of their action and the way how they are behaving, a lot of people supported them because of their bribery.”
Nagamootoo is unsure whether she will take up the seat that the party won. “I’m not sure as yet. I will decide that,” she noted.
Back in late October, at a “community outreach,” Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, at the Auchlyne Primary School, had said, “…Mavis Nagamootoo is a big vote getter, a big vote catcher and…none of the trails that they [the PPP/C] put can run beside Mavis, so they targeted her.”
PPP/C candidate Sursatee Ishmael, 68, who ran against Nagamootoo, obtained 216 votes. She is very happy with the results. “We want to work for the people. I am very happy about us not raising the taxes. The people don’t have jobs and we have to be with them,” she told this newspaper.
The woman explained that she expected to win based on the feedback she was receiving during the campaign period.
Additionally, Ishmael stated that the subventions received from government will be used to carry out as much work possible within the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).
In the Whim/Bloomfield area, the PPP/C gathered 1,095 votes or 87%, while the AFC picked up 154 votes.
Meanwhile, Gobin Harbhajan, who spoke as a longstanding member of the AFC in Region Six, told Stabroek News that he personally expected a better result for his party in the region. However, he said, “I believe if we would have done more ground work we would have been up there.”
Harbhajan, who has been a member of the AFC since 2005, stressed that the party will use the result as a learning experience for the general elections.
Harbhajan further stated that based on the voter turnout, it can also be said that the party did “fairly well” in the region.
Additionally, he stressed that in the areas where the party has gained seats, the councillors would work towards development of the communities.
Furthermore, he said that his party is very much alive and ready to work.
However, Zamal Hussain, PPP/C Party Supervisor for Region Six, had a different outlook on the AFC’s performance, while pointing out that it only garnered some two seats in the entire Region Six. He said, “The AFC is dead and they should be buried and given a nice funeral because I don’t think they exist anymore in Region Six.”
Hussain stressed that despite the low voter turnout, the PPP/C has done tremendously well within the region. “We have won at least 15 of the NDC and municipalities, two NDCs tied and we lost four of the NDCs,” he said.
He also stated, that the results in Region Six show clearly that the residents have responded to the opposition in a very positive way. “This is a good sign for the general elections coming up. We will continue to fight and strive to ensure that in 2020 we have a more massive victory in Region Six.”