St Joseph Independent Liberal Party (ILP) by-election candidate attorney Om Lalla said yesterday he had a very cordial interaction with his former Crime Watch co-host, Ian Alleyne.
Speaking to reporters after filing his nomination papers at the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Aranjuez office, he said, “These are exciting times in the constituency and interesting candidates are being fielded and I thinks it’s going to be an election to watch..a by-election that has never been seen before. It’s a very short race and it’s going to be heated and it’s going to be exciting . What we are going to see is a foundation being laid for the next general election in terms of how campaigns are conducted.”
Lalla added, “What is done and what is said and how people vote, it’s a lot at stake and I don’t think any political pundit can call election results right now although I feel confident that the ILP will walk away with victory...(thunderous applause from ILP supporters). Like I say it’s going to be tense and exciting, we are going to redefine elections.”
Asked what his interaction with Alleyne was like when they met at the EBC Aranjuez Main Road office yesterday, he replied, “It was very cordial. There were five candidate who filed nominations today and I mean I greeted all the candidates.”
Asked what he thought about Alleyne having convictions against him, Lalla said, “Unless you are convicted and served a sentence you are able to contest. There are only certain exceptions that debar you and the act makes it clear.”
Asked what he thought about his former colleague’s decision to run for the People’s Partnership, he said: “He’s taken a decision and I have taken a decision also and my decision is about freedom of choice. The position is it’s about betterment for our country and our country will decide.
“It’s about representation and the people want this. It’s not about fanfare and giveaways and I think this fight is really between the ILP and the PNM and, with the greatest respect to Ian...they are a third runner in this and it’s a close fight.”
He said that, given the results of the Chaguanas West by-election (won by ILP interim leader Jack Warner), the issue of race and political divide was no longer relevant as people are about empowerment and betterment and not just handouts for a vote.
“The issues are not mauvais langue and bacchanal, it is what I can deliver to the people,” he said.