St Joseph MP Terrence Deyalsingh plays tassa at the St Joseph Community Centre where he went to file his nomination papers yesterday.

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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, all eyes have been on Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh as the People’s National Movement (PNM) led administration was tasked to protect the country from the virus which has already killed over 500,000 people worldwide and infected millions more. However, Deyalsingh is not claiming any advantage from this publicity for the upcoming general election as he seeks to hold on to his St Joseph seat he held since 2013.

“It (the pandemic experience) made me a stronger person,” Deyalsingh told Guardian Media in an interview after filing his nomination at the St Joseph Community Centre yesterday.

“The people of St Joseph don’t vote for a minister; they vote for an MP (member of parliament). If an MP cannot solve their issue then I am no good and I am running on a platform of accomplishment as their member of parliament.”

His successes as the constituency’s parliamentary representative, he said, includes road paving works, provision of water supplies to certain areas, and building community centres.

“I am running on a platform of accomplishment and people want to see that continue,” he iterated.

His closest competition for the seat, Ahloy Hunt, however, sees it differently. Also speaking to Guardian Media after filing his nomination papers, the ex-soldier said he believes Deyalsingh has neglected the constituency.

“He’s (Deyalsingh) is missing. There’s no pressure whatsoever. The people have spoken. You can hear their sufferings, you can hear their cries. They are going to change this dictatorial, absent, non-performing MP,” he said.

Hunt cited a lack of jobs, lack of access to water, flooding and crime as issues plaguing the constituents of St Joseph.