Residents of Orange Valley staged a protest demonstration on Friday, calling on Kamla Persad- Bissessar, political leader of the United National Congress (UNC), to reinstated Ramona Ramdial as the party’s candidate for Couva North.
Nazima Ramdeo, resident of Orange Valley, whose son was one of seven people from the community who were murdered by pirates on July 25, 2019, said she is upset over the party’s choice of Ravi Ratiram.
“I’m unhappy,” she told Guardian Media. “She [Ramona Ramdial] helped us a lot during the bereavement of my son Shiva Ramdeo… Miss Ramona helped us a lot during the time of our grief. She helped us to provide; she came for the funeral. She helped us a lot.”
Nazima Ramdeo is threatening to withhold her vote for the UNC and is encouraging others not to vote for the party in the upcoming elections, because of the side-lining of Ramona Ramdial.
Kelvin Rajkumar, a fisherman from Brickfield, said the UNC expects the people to vote for any “object” cast before them.
“We had a performing, caring MP and the party top move her just like that,” Rajkumar said.
As far as Rajkumar is concerned, Ramona Ramdial spoke on behalf of the fishermen when they were killed, while Kamla Persad-Bissessar failed to show up at any time during that period.
Sangeeta Sooknanan, a resident of Orange Valley, who lost her brother-in-law Alex Himraj Sooknanan in the July 2019 pirate attack, said she was disgruntled over the party’s choice.
“This guy they going and bring… we don’t know him at all,” she stated. “We don’t know his background. Just to push she out and take he, they’re not getting my vote at all.”
Meanwhile, Orlando Nagessar, the Chairman of the UNC’s Couva North Executive, said an investigation into the protest would have to take place before any official statement on the matter is issued.
Nagessar also denied there was any friction concerning the party’s choice of candidate.
“Myself and other members of the executive walked with the candidate, Mr Ratiram, through Waterloo on Thursday. He was well received by all the residents of the area who were more than happy to see him. There was no problem,” he asserted.
When contacted, Ramona Ramdial told Guardian Media she was unaware of any protest and could not comment on the matter.