TWO officials of the People’s National Movement (PNM) stoutly denied Opposition allegations that the PNM would rig the next general election, simply saying the party has never done this in its decades-old history of contesting elections.
On Sunday at the UNC'S 30th anniversary rally at Couva South, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar stormed, “I want to give Rowley a warning that we know what is going on and what he and his party are planning for elections. We have no intention of allowing him and his cronies to rig the elections now and use the campaign period as a theatrical show and then relegate election day as a sham activity to de-legitimise electoral democracy in TT.”
PNM vice chairman Robert Le Hunte yesterday told Newsday, “We took the country from independence to republican status. We are at the forefront of democracy. I’d put no credence on that remark.”
PNM general secretary Foster Cummings also cited the party’s history to flatly reject the Opposition Leader’s claim. He told Newsday the remark was “irresponsible, baseless and reckless.
“How is that even possible in TT?" he asked. "You know? Really. I’d like to comment but it is so far-fetched. How is the PNM to steal an election?
“We have been having elections for how many decades in this country, and has one ever been stolen?
"It’s the most far-fetched thing we’ve heard from the Opposition Leader. Do you take it seriously?”
Cummings said the remark sounded like an excuse by an Opposition leader who probably thinks she will lose the general election.
“I thought it to be a very irresponsible statement, because we have been having free and fair elections in this country for decades," he added.
“It is very difficult for me to comment because it is baseless. It seems to be very reckless.”
Cummings said that to comment further he must first hear what was the basis for Persad-Bissessar’s allegation, and would be happy to comment if she put forward something credible.