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Fabien challenges rivals to debate
Errol Fabien, independent candidate in the St Joseph by-election, says noise, gimmickry, promises and deeds of comfort won’t win votes in St Joseph. Fabien is challenging his political rivals—United National Congress (UNC) candidate Ian Alleyne, the Independent Liberal Party’s (ILP) Om Lalla, the People’s National Movement’s (PNM) Terrence Deyalsingh and the Democratic National Alliance’s (DNA) Michael Lopez, or their leaders—to a live televised debate on issues facing the country.
Speaking in a telephone interview with the Sunday Guardian, he said: “I think voters will be coming out in St Joseph. They have an understanding and have a sophistication and intelligence level that the rest of country shares. “The noise, gimmickry, promises and deeds of comfort will no longer earn votes, certainly not in St Joseph. They need to come and present themselves in person. In fact, I would debate with the candidates or their leaders, either one. I’m good and ready for this.”
Fabien said he had been talking with people and was even more encouraged with the support of the constituency. He said he would continue with his walkabouts and “listenings.” He said Alleyne’s talk-show host success would not necessarily translate to victory at the polls.
A week ago, Alleyne distributed certificates of comfort to 14 families from Farm Road and other areas, including St Augustine and Arouca. Fabien said some of the Bangladesh residents’ plots were so small that the Town and Country Planning Division would not approve them for building; he said certificates of comfort were not the solution. He said citizens needed an entirely different approach, which could come from residents themselves.
Fabien said he was not making promises to do the work of the councillors of the area, but he promised the residents to become their parliamentary representative. Fabien said he would bring to the table one thing the constituency has not had for some time: representation. He said the recent local government election results may have some bearing on the November 4 by-election, but he, as an independent candidate, would not have to tow any party line if elected.
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