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After accusations Jack is fighting for him Rowley to hit trail next week
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley will pay a surprise visit to Chaguanas West next week. Rowley, for the first time, will join the campaign of PNM candidate Avinash Singh as campaigning for the July 29 Chaguanas West by-election heats up, the T&T Guardian was told by the PNM camp yesterday. The move comes after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, at a UNC meeting in Chaguanas West on Monday, charged that Rowley would never walk in the area because Jack Warner is campaigning for him. “That is why Rowley put up a paper candidate and then takes off to Tobago. He will not campaign here in Chaguanas West. He will not walk the streets of Felicity, La Paille, Caroni, Munroe Road or Warrenville,” the PM had told supporters. “You will not see Rowley in Chaguanas West because he has Jack Warner to fight for him. Why else would he disappear from the campaign?” she asked.
Warner, former Chaguanas West MP, is recontesting the seat under his newly-formed Independent Liberal Party (ILP). Contacted yesterday, Singh confirmed he would have Rowley’s support next week. “Yes, the political leader of the PNM will walk with me. We have to confirm when and where,” he said. Singh said the PNM would hold its first political meeting at New Settlement on Wednesday. Responding to the PM’s claim that Warner was campaigning for the PNM, Singh said: “This country is run on allegations. There is no evidence of that being true. That is a very misinformed statement. I am fighting for my party.” Responding to claims from rival political parties and political scientists that the PNM was a “non-factor” in Chaguanas West and that the race was between the UNC and the ILP, Singh said: “They are saying we are the dark horse in the race. Let’s wait until July 29 to see. “People are not realising that the population is much more educated. The youths (in Chaguanas West) are coming out in their numbers.”
Asked if the PNM could win a seat in a UNC stronghold, Singh said: “In this country anything is possible. The political landscape is changing and the politics is so dynamic.” On the allegations of thuggery against UNC supporters made by the party’s candidate Khadijah Ameen, Singh said he did not know if they were true or not since he was not there. He said his supporters had not experienced any thuggery from political rivals, thus far, but recalled that the PNM’s social network campaign site was hacked by a known activist who infiltrated its camp.
“That is being investigated as we speak,” Singh added. He said he had lived all his life in Chaguanas West and violence was not a part of the residents’ lifestyle. He said any act of thuggery would have to originate from outside of the area.
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