PNM candidate for Moruga/Tableland Winston Peters at the Returning Officer’s office in Princes Town yesterday.

Sascha Wilson

Peoples National Movement (PNM) candidate Winston “Gypsy” Peters refused to comment on allegations of domestic violence against him as he filed nomination papers at the Returning Officer’s office at Princes Town yesterday.

“No comment,” responded Peters as he walked off.

He entered a van and put up the window before the vehicle drove off. Peters’ former partner has taken out an interim protection order against him. He has been summoned to appear at the Rio Claro Magistrates Court on Thursday for the hearing.

Peters is going up against United National Congress’ (UNC) Michelle Benjamin in the August 10 general election.

In the last general election, the PNM’s Dr Lovell Francis defeated the UNC’s Clifton De Coteau by 533 votes in that seat.

The Independent Liberal Party candidate Clifford Winston got 49 votes. Accompanied by his campaign manager and a photographer, Peters had no fanfare or supporters when he filed his nomination papers.

Asked why he opted not to have any fanfare, Peters, the National Carnival Commission chairman said, “Great things are done without fanfare.”

A former UNC MP and minister, Peters said, “I feel very good. This is about the fifth or sixth time I am doing this so I feel very, very elated to do it.”

Confident that he would win the seat, Peters said he was a good representative and he was representing the best government in the country.

Meanwhile, Michelle Benjamin, councillor for Hindustan/St Mary’s, brought a celebratory atmosphere with two music trucks, a tassa and drum group, flags, and more than 20 supporters.

The majority of supporters wore masks, but there was no social distancing. Benjamin was also confident that electors will cast their votes for her and the UNC. Asked how she felt about her opponent’s chances at defeating her, she said, “Honestly, I don’t really give him a second thought. That ex-tempo artiste would be retired. I know he is keeping a meeting on the street where I live today and that just shows that he is afraid of me. So I am a smart campaigner and as my leader says I keep it clean and I am here to serve the people.”

A first-time candidate in a general election, Benjamin said she is ready to take up the mantle to make the constituency a better place and get it working again to support the youths and her community.