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Friday 6 December 2019
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MSJ election agent barred from Pt Fortin polling stations

MSJ elections officer Ernesto Kesar. Photo by Marvin Hamilton
MSJ elections officer Ernesto Kesar. Photo by Marvin Hamilton

THE Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) claims one of its elections agents was prevented from entering a polling station at the Fanny Village Government School, Point Fortin, on Monday morning.

Claiming victimisation, the MSJ has filed an official complaint with the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) asking for a roving EBC agent to be reined in.

MSJ elections officer Ernesto Kesar said the EBC agent was following the party's election agnt, Bernadine Billy, and preventing her from entering any of the polling stations in the district.

Kesar said Billy is gazetted by the EBC as the MSJ's official election agent, with the authority to go into any polling station. He said she is also the official agent for Hollywood candidate Garnett Thompson.

“She has the authority to check on our polling agents to see if they are all right, if they have to deliver food, and to also query if any discrepancies are raised on behalf of the MSJ as it relates to the free flow and fairness of the election process," he said.

Kesar said shortly after 10 am, Billy went to the Fanny Village polling station to check on MSJ agents there,but the roving EBC agent put her out claiming she was “not official.”

Kesar said she had her Form 51 signed and stamped by a registered justice of the peace, which was all she needed to access the polling stations.

Because the EBC officer was roving, he said, wherever Billy was going he followed her and prevented her from entering any other polling stations in the district.

Thompson made a complaint to returning officer Patricia Bradshaw, and MSJ’s general secretary Ozzi Warwick sent a letter to EBC chairman Mark Ramkerrysingh.

“This is victimisation. This is wrong, and if this continue we will speak to our lawyers to declare this election fraudulent and unlawful,” Kesar said.

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