Deputy Political Leader of the United National Congress (UNC) Dr David Lee said he anticipated no irregularities in Monday’s Local Government Bye-Election but admitted that anything was possible.
“You never know what can transpire at the end of the day but I think by and large we expect a very fair and transparent election,” Lee said.
Speaking to reporters outside the Crystal Steam Government Primary School on Monday after casting his vote Monday morning, Dr Lee praised the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) for their efforts with the voting process and adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
“I must compliment the EBC,” he said.
His sentiments were endorsed by several voters at the same location and at Four Roads Government Primary School.
Dr Lee stood alongside UNC Candidate for Diego Martin Central John Laquis who said the process was smooth. Laquis said he was confident of winning since people in the area were ready for change.
But even with the smooth process Dr Lee said there were reports in all five districts of a low voter turnout.
The Deputy Political Leader said he was in tune with what was happening and hoped an increase before the polls closed.
A total of 8,415 people were eligible to vote in Diego Martin Central on Monday.
“In 2019 the Local Government election we had approximately 2,300 people voting… You never know with COVID-19 what the turnout would be” Lee said.
“At this polling station and throughout Alyce Glenn/ Morne Coco the turnout has been very slow likewise the four other bye elections,” he said.
However, People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate Jinelle Schulere-Smart said she was not fazed by the anticipation of low voter turnout. She told reporters that her team did the groundwork and expected people to come out and vote even though voters were wary of taking time out of their day to vote once again in less than two years.
“They are getting a little tired, some of them, but they have pledged their commitment to come out and support me,” she said.
Schulere-Smart said if successful she would first see what resources are available before she begins to plan.
When she voted she said she did not receive any reports of irregularities.
Both candidates were vying to replace Symon de Nobriga, the elected councillor who went onto to become MP for Diego Martin Central and Minister of Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister.