Once the election is over, Nikoli Edwards, the youngest political leader in the August 10 election, will be writing to the Elections and Boundaries Commission to advise on why young people feel locked out of the electoral process.
Speaking to Guardian Media after casting his ballot at the San Fernando Methodist School in Mon Chagrin Street, San Fernando, Edwards said he learnt a lot out of his campaign to wrestle San Fernando West out of the hands of the PNM’s incumbent Faris Al-Rawi.
Edwards, who heads the Progressive Party, said he remains confident of a victory, noting that the experience he gleaned out of the campaign was well worth the effort he put in.
“This is the first time we interacted with the electoral process. We have learnt a lot. We will be writing to the EBC following today’s exercise to advise of the many reasons we have a two-party system. We felt it was against us largely when it comes to getting all the documents and even receiving information from the EBC. We are hoping that comments and issues will be taken into account and we will understand why young people are locked out of the electoral process,” Edwards said.
Edwards is hoping that in the Progressive Party raising the concerns “it will bring about awareness as to why young people are locked out and do not enter the political gayelle as we say.”
He said the campaign was an inspiration to the youth, noting that he was surprised to see a high voter turnout despite the threat of adverse weather and the rising cases of COVID-19. Significant numbers of the elderly and disabled were out to vote in the early hours of the morning. Guardian Media caught up with a couple of first time voters who expressed excitement at voting for the first time.
A total of 19 political parties contested the election.
In total 150 candidates vied for seats in the forty-one constituencies across both Trinidad and Tobago.
There are 1,134,136 registered electors according to the EBC.