Jack Warner up to press time last night was giving a sound political licking to his challenger—attorney Ashvani Mahabir in the United National Congress (UNC) internal election race and was well poised to retain the party's chairmanship.
In Pointe-a-Pierre the Sunday Express learnt that Warner received 285 votes while Mahabir managed just eight.
In Oropouche West Warner got 213 votes while Mahabir trailed behind with 20 votes.
While the voter turn out was poor in most constituencies sources told the Sunday Express that Warner was well ahead of his competition.
Warner contested the party's chairmanship independently and did not align himself to any slate.
The Nationalists' slate led by Government Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal who is also a deputy political leader incumbent and was up to press time leading in constituencies such as San Fernando West, Siparia, Couva North and Couva South, Sources said from preliminary results it seemed as though the Nationalists made a clean sweep with Warner retaining the party's chairmanship.
This would mean that San Fernando Mayor Marlene Coudray who ran for the deputy leader position on the Nationalist slate was in the lead to get one of the three deputy political leader positions,
Other slates such as Generation Next which was advised by former UNC political leader Basdeo Panday and his daughter, former Parliamentarian Mickela Panday, and UNC Soldiers led by Sunil Ramjitsingh were also defeated at the polls.
Mickela Panday told the Sunday Express the election process was unfair as expected.
She said people from the Nationalists slate were given copies of the membership list and were therefore able to go and pick up people and transport them to polling stations.
She said the Nationalists mock ballot cards were also being given out at polling stations.
"That was happening outside every single station, including Siparia. I saw these things for myself and therefore it was a complete mockery of the democratic process and these were things that I witnessed myself," she said.
Mikela said the Nationalists embarked on an expensive advertising campaign and had the advantage of having the membership list at hand.
"We don't have the kind of funding from contractors and all these different kinds of people...We weren't able to go out with a list as others had and urge people to vote. People have been seeing one group of people blasting advertisements, every two pages in the newspapers beyond recourse," she said.
The low voter turnout she said was evident of how people are fed up and disenchanted.
She added that Generation Next agents were kicked out from polling stations by people claiming to be "regional coordinators and returning officers" and therefore did not have the opportunity to monitor and witness the voting process and count.
"I personally believe it was all deliberate but it comes as no surprise because I had predicted that the elections would not be free and fair and so what we did is we were outside the stations writing these complaints," she said.
Ramjitsingh of the UNC Soldiers slate also expressed dissatisfaction with the voting process and also complained that the Nationalists had an unfair advantage of having the membership list.
Ramjitsingh said hundreds of people were unable to vote because their names were not on the list.
He added that people were intimidated because their identification card information and membership card information were being written at the back of the ballot paper.
"If these allegations are true there was a level of intimidation in the voting process because a lot of people who spoke to our agents are people who depend on the URP programme and that would have been an act of intimidation if it proved to be true," he said.
"I think that there were a lot of inconsistencies and we have to just wait and see how this plays out in the count but I know that a lot of supporters of the party are very disappointed in the way they were treated," he added.
Moonilal told the Sunday Express that everything went well for the Nationalists and his slate was able to campaign effectively because of collaboration and coordination.
"We had a smooth day, we did have some minor hiccups where some people, their names were not on the list," he said.
He said people had weeks to examine the membership lists at different constituency offices.
On the allegation that his slate were handing out cards, Moonilal said: "We did have mock cards, those were not handed out at polling stations, they were handed out during the week at our polling stations. As a candidate I only had access to one list and that was from Oropouche East, I didn't have access to any other list. My team had other persons who went and perused lists in other areas," he said.
On the low voter turnout, Moonilal said: "The voter turnout is generally low in an internal election, when we had our election for top leadership positions the voter turnout was 30 per cent."
Vice chairman of the UNC elections committee Joe Sirju said yesterday at Rienzi Complex, Couva that voter turnout was around 20 per cent.
He told TV6 News last night that this was the percentage expected.
—Full results in