34,430 to vote

“These are persons whose names did not appear on the preliminary list and who made the necessary queries,” Ramnath told Newsday.

Ramnath said he was a bit surprised by the figure since he expected more persons on the list. In 2005 UNC election, 25,000 persons were registered to vote.

Ramnath also said 1,000 persons were identified as having membership in the Congress of the People (COP) as well as the UNC. “We are still going through the list but we are almost finished and I expect the final figure to be around 1,200.”

Persons with dual membership were identified after Ramnath got a copy of the COP membership list.

COP leader Winston Dookeran was yesterday unfazed by claims that Ramnath had a copy of the COP membership list. Asked if it was okay for him to have made a comment on Thursday that the UNC elections are marked by denigration, he told Newsday, “It’s the integrity of the electoral system that is at stake here.”

Dookeran had previously rejected Ramnath’s call to share the COP list so the UNC could use it to strike off COP members from the UNC membership list. “Our constitution is very clear. Members of another party cannot vote in our party’s internal elections therefore these people will not be allowed to vote on Sunday,” Ramnath said, adding the counting of ballots from the 28 polling stations should be completed by 9 pm.

Asked how much money the elections cost thus far, he said, “We are looking at close to half of a million dollars. I don’t know how much was spent so far but that’s a good estimate of how much the entire thing cost.”

Commenting on Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner’s request for a certified copy of the final list Ramnath said that was not his responsibility.

“I sent a certified copy to Ramdath and I have sent 41 copies of the final list to the constituencies signed by me of both life and ordinary members,” he said.

He said Warner was called to collect a copy on a compact disc and assured there were no discrepancies. Meanwhile, Warner has offered to pay for a polling station to be placed in Tobago after reports that 1,500 UNC members there have to travel to Trinidad to vote.

“I do wish to advise that I have obtained a venue in Tobago where a polling box can be placed,” Warner said in a letter yesterday to Ramdath. The venue is TLH Building, Lower Milford Road, Scarborough. Ramdath could not be reached for comment.

Police officers are expected to maintain a heavy presence at all polling stations tomorrow, and off duty officers have been called out.


"34,430 to vote"

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