‘I WILL FIGHT FOR THE PEOPLE’: Independent Liberal Party (ILP) candidate for St Joseph Om Lalla addresses supporters during a public meeting at the First Capital Park, St Joseph, on Saturday night. —Photo: ANISTO ALVES
Om not worried by poll findings
...ILP still building momentum, says candidate Lalla
Gyasi Gonzales firstname.lastname@example.org
Candidate for the Independent Liberal Party in the St Joseph by-election, attorney Om Lalla, yesterday dismissed the findings of polls which put the People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate Terrence Deyalsingh ahead of his opponents to win the November 4 election.
Lalla responded to polls in the newspapers yesterday during a walkabout at Valsayn.
Lalla said that St Joseph was a very diverse geographic area therefore unless the samples drawn for the polls are wide and reflective of the socio, economic and ethnic diversity, such polls would not be reliable in his view.
He said all polling divisions in the constituency will get equal attention in his campaign especially in light of the fact that there has been a shift in the traditional support bases of the existing ruling party. He said that, as a new party, the ILP must offer itself to all people.
Lalla said, “It is difficult to conduct polls and have a favourable degree of accuracy since we are still in the process of building momentum. I mean we are a four-month-old party.”
On Saturday evening, Lalla spoke at a public meeting at First Capital Park, St Joseph. He was accompanied by interim leader of the ILP Jack Warner.
Lalla said it was he who taught his People’s Partnership opponent Ian Alleyne about “wetting after wetting,” and promised him as much on November 4.
He said that, compared to Alleyne and Deyalsingh, it would be he who would argue most strongly for St Joseph.
“I will be in opposition but I will fight fiercely for you because the cries of the people are the same every year.”
He also dealt with the People’s Partnership lament about the ILP’s splitting of votes.
“That’s an insult. That’s your right and they want you to believe that politics is tribal; but you, our supporters, said that you were not going to stand for that because no one owns your vote,” he said.
Warner’s address was devoid of the picong that was a hallmark of the party’s political meetings in the run-up to October 21 local government elections.
Warner spoke about the candidates and paid special attention to the People’s Partnership choice of CrimeWatch host Ian Alleyne.
He lamented that a constituency like St Joseph, which was Trinidad’s first capital, was being given a candidate like Alleyne.
“It’s a disrespect to the people of St Joseph. A disrespect that they send you a clown,” he said.
He continued, “Tonight (Saturday night) we stand on the proud legacy of what was once the capital of Trinidad. Four hundred and twenty-one years ago, the Spanish vice-royalty in Venezuela established its first cabildo overseas in 1592, (and for those who do not know, a cabildo is a municipal administrative unit governed by a council) under Governor Don Antonio de Berrio y Oruna in San Jose de Oruna, which we now call St Joseph.”
He recalled that as both he and the candidate, Lalla, walked through the area they spoke to some of the elders in the community who pointed some historical facts about the area, namely Trinidad’s first telegraph message ever, and “the signing of the Capitulation Treaty of 1797 on the very grounds upon which the WASA car park now stands today. The significance of that treaty was the ceding of Trinidad from a Spanish to a British colony”.
He lamented that St Joseph was now an abandoned community and was never slated for development by the present administration.
He said that the only thing St Joseph ever gets was a few poorly paved roads and box drains along with food cards and CEPEP jobs.