THE Hindu Credit Union (HCU) financed the campaigns of the country's two major political parties—the People's National Movement (PNM) and the United National Congress (UNC)—in the 2007 general election, former HCU president Harry Harnarine said yesterday.
The Congress of the People (COP) was unable to secure HCU campaign financing, however, because it was viewed as a "nuisance", Harnarine said.
Harnarine made the statements to the Express, in response to a statement by former finance minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira on Monday that she had received financing from the HCU in her campaign to win the D'Abadie/O'Meara constituency in 2007.
Harnarine said the HCU provided "non-cash" financing to several PNM candidates in the 2007 general election.
"We helped the PNM in seats that were threatened by the COP and not the UNC," Harnarine said.
The funding to the PNM was in the sum of $500,000 and included free advertisements on the HCU's two radio stations, Shakti and Masala, the use of the credit union buses, free advertisements in the Probe newspaper and the use of the credit union's security firm.
Harnarine said the HCU provided "cash and other resources" to the UNC in the amount of $2.5 million in the 2007 general election.
The HCU viewed the COP as a nuisance and opted not to assist that party, Harnarine said. "We felt that the COP's only role in the 2007 general election was to split the vote, and we viewed them as being a nuisance," he added.