The Opposition UNC has so far lost recounts in three out of six electoral areas and was awaiting results for Sangre Grande northwest last night.
Elections and Boundaries Commission chief election officer, Ramesh Nanan, said following Local Government elections, recounts were sought, mainly by UNC and one by the PNM.
The UNC had sought recounts in seats in San Juan/Laventille, Tunapuna/Piarco, Mayaro/Rio Claro, Princes Town and Sangre Grande.
The PNM sought a recount in the Princes Town Corporation seat of Hindustan/St Mary’s seat which the UNC had won. That was abandoned, the Guardian learned.
Up to yesterday, however, UNC had lost the recounts in Mayaro/Rio Claro, San Juan/Laventille and Princes Town.
UNC Senator, Gerald Ramdeen. representing the party at the Sangre Grande recount, said UNC had initially sought recount for two Sangre Grande seats — northwest and north.
But he said when the final figures were obtained, the margin of victory for the PNM in Sangre Grande north east was too large— about 300 votes—and the UNC did not pursue that recount.
Up to 6 pm yesterday, recount for the Sangre Grande northwest seat was still in progress with two more boxes to be counted.
PNM deputy leader, Rohan Sinanan, optimistic the PNM would retain the seat, noted: “The PNM did better in Sangre Grande on Monday than we did in 2013. We made inroads into UNC areas and where we lost to UNC — such as Manzanilla — it was by small numbers. So we are closing the gap.
“I cannot see how the UNC can claim any ‘victory.’ We had eight corporations, we have gotten back eight (with Grande). We had 83 seats in 2013 and lost one now.”
The UNC, which sought recount in the Mayaro/Rio Claro seat of Cocal Mafeking, lost.
The results remained the same as before, UNC Mayaro MP Rushton Paray confirmed.
UNC Senator Wade Mark, who monitored the recount in the San Juan/Laventille seat of Barataria, said the UNC lost.
“The PNM won the seat since the recount showed we got the same number which came in on Monday. We lost by just over 300 votes,” Mark added.
A recount in Caura/Paradise/Tacarigua (Tunapuna- Piarco), which began at 10 am, was continuing yesterday. By 3.15 pm, only six of 21 boxes had been checked, the UNC stated. PNM officials expected to hold the seat since the PNM won by 309 votes.
RESULTS REMAIN THE SAME IN PRINCES TOWN
The UNC had also sought a recount in one Princes Town seat and the PNM had sought a recount in another.
UNC Princes Town MP Barry Padarath said the UNC had sought recount in the Lengua/Indian Walk seat which the PNM won.
But Padarath said the recount results were the same and the PNM won the seat by over 100 votes.
On the PNM’s requested recount in Hindustan/St Mary’s (which the UNC won), Padarath said the PNM called off the recount when the fifth of 16 boxes was opened. UNC retained that seat.
Consequently, Padarath said, Monday’s results in the Princes Town Corporation remains the same: Nine seats for UN, one for the PNM,”
“We have noted PNM Moruga MP Dr Lovell Francis’ lament that many in his constituency returned to the UNC. “We also noticed many switched from the PNM to the UNC. If you examine results by polling divisions, you see where PNMites went to the UNC. So between now and general election we’ll be working Moruga to regain it in next general election,” he added.
Padarath said high voter turnout had been observed among supporters in its strongholds “and less of a turnout in PNM areas but we gained 12 additional seats in Chaguanas, Tunapuna, Princes Town, Mayaro and Sangre Grande.”
SOURCE: www.guardian.co.tt (Gail Alexander)