“IT is a big comedy show.”
This was how long-time St Joseph constituent Aldwyn Victor, 66, yesterday described the line-up of candidates who have thrown their hats in the ring to contest the November 4 by-election in that area.
On Monday, five candidates filed nomination papers at the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Aranjuez office to contest next month’s St Joseph by-election.
Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne will be representing the United National Congress (UNC), former opposition senator Terrence Deyalsingh the People’s National Movement (PNM), attorney Om Lalla the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Michael Lopez for the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) and comedian Errol Fabien as an independent.
The Express yesterday visited the St Joseph constituency to garner the views of residents on the candidates and the upcoming election.
The first stop was Mt D’Or Road where the Express met Victor.
Victor said he voted for Herbert Volney, the UNC’s successful candidate in the 2010 general election.
Following Volney’s resignation from the UNC, House Speaker Wade Mark declared the St Joseph seat vacant which triggered the upcoming by-election.
“I voted for Volney. But I did so because I wanted to get (former prime minister Patrick) Manning out. And the same way I voted to get Manning out. I would do it again to get the People’s Partnership out,” Victor said.
“I not going to take on anybody who say they are this personality or that personality. This is a serious job,” he said.
Strafford Passee, 57, who has lived in the St Joseph constituency for more than 50 years said he did not vote last election but intends to do so this time around.
Passee said he comes from a PNM household but he could not in good conscience vote for that party in 2010.
Passee said he also could not vote for Volney, a former judge, because of the ruling he made in the high-profile Brad Boyce trial.
“Sad to say but it looks like I might have to go back home this time around. The PNM candidate looks like the best option,” he said.
Passee said he believes the by-election will have a high voter turnout.
The next stop on the trip was the community off Farm Road in St Joseph commonly known as Bangladesh. A dreadlocked man going by the nickname “Joe Grimes” said he would be supporting independent candidate Fabien.
“None of the parties look like they serious. So I would give my vote to Fabien. He is a poor man who came from St Joseph and I think he could make some real change to the constituency because he know the pains of the community,” Grimes, who did not want to give his real name, said.
Grimes’ neighbour, Kizzy Rampersad, 33, however did not agree with his analysis of the situation.
“Give the poor man a chance? I don’t think that poor man stand a chance,” Rampersad said.
Rampersad said she would be giving ILP candidate Lalla her vote. She expressed concerns over Alleyne’s motives for entering the political fray.
“Ian (Alleyne) only went into it for one reason. And that is because of Om (Lalla). People should only enter politics if they want to truly represent people. It is not a game,” she said.
Other residents Keron Rampersad, 27, and Jenny Rampersad, 56, said the area has been neglected over time by all political parties and felt whoever wins this by-election would continue the trend.
While exiting the area a woman was heard shouting “No Ian! No Om! What they could do for us? Lock us up? Put somebody constructive!”
The voice belonged to a woman who identified herself only as 52-year-old Sandra.
The final stop on the day’s journey was the heart of St Joseph, a stone’s throw away from the George Earle Park where Volney made his political debut.
Anthony Noreiga, 65, had two questions.
“Is Ian Alleyne a member of the UNC? And how long has he been a member?”
Gobin Boodoo, 51, said he would be casting his vote for Lalla who he feels would represent the area best.