MOVEMENT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE (MSJ) political leader David Abdulah is not discouraged by his party’s not winning a single of the 26 seats in the five regional corporations it contested.
He praised the young men and women who contested, saying the MSJ performed much better in Monday's local government elections than in previous elections.
"Of course all our candidates have lost.
“But in terms of the vote count, our candidates have said that in places where we did not have a single vote before, we now have people recognising the MSJ as a political party and people are prepared to vote for us."
He said the 200 votes the MSJ obtained in one electoral district in the San Fernando City Corporation showed the MSJ is gaining momentum.
Abdulah added, "The fact that our candidates may not have won a seat is not the most important thing. We have moved in some cases to zero to 100 or 200, as the case may be.
“That is very significant for us, in fighting against two parties that have spent millions of dollars and have engaged in inducements."
The MSJ, born out of the labour movement, failed to woo oil votes to any significant degree in the municipal districts of Marabella and Point Fortin, where most of the former workers of the now defunct state-owned Petrotrin live.
Speaking from MSJ's headquarters on Lord Street, San Fernando, Abdulah reiterated that the "small" results in the elections were a step forward for the party.
"Thousands more people now know more about the MSJ than before. The party has been energised by the young people who put themselves up for election."
Asked about his party’s plan for the general election next year, Abdulah said the MSJ is adamant that it is going full swing back into the constituencies to build what he described as a “powerful movement.”
About the turnout of voters, he said the most significant thing was that more older people came out to vote than the young.