UNC Tabaquite candidate Anita Haynes is not being lulled into complacency because she is contesting a traditional UNC political stronghold in the August 10 general election. Haynes is also not worried about disappointment by some UNC supporters that some former UNC MPs will not be contesting the election.
Speaking with reporters before starting a walkabout in Gasparillo on Wednesday, Haynes said, "Safe seat doesn't mean that we will take anybody for granted." Haynes' sole challenger is PNM candidate Michael Seales.
She declared, "At the end of the day, TT needs all communities stronger and working together to really take our country forward." Haynes said hoped the momentum she builds up in Tabaquite would "build the momentum in San Fernando and in Moruga."
The San Fernando West and Moruga/Tableland constituencies, currently held by the PNM, are two critical seats the UNC is targeting to win the election. Haynes said, "We are excited about a very clean, policy-based campaign. We are going to be walking every single day."
Haynes said her tenure as a senator in the last parliament has prepared her "for the parliamentary end" of governance. But she admitted that being an elected representative and community were new to her. Haynes said there would be a learning curve but she was excited for the journey ahead.
Haynes was grateful for "the level of mentorship" she received from former Tabaquite MP Dr Surujrattan Rambachan. She disclosed she had a three-hour meeting with Rambachan, who opted not to stand for re-election, on Monday. Haynes said Rambachan advised her on how to manage a large constituency like Tabaquite and helped her assemble her campaign team.
Haynes was not worried about the disappointment of some UNC supporters about some former UNC MPs not being chosen as candidates for their former constituencies. She was confident they would rally behind the party on August 10.
As a young constituent of Tabaquite, Haynes said constituents were grateful for the work done by Rambachan and were ready to build on the platform he left behind. Haynes hoped to bring the commercial, agricultural and sporting assets of Tabaquite together to improve constituents' lives and contribute to overall national development.
Should the UNC win the election, Haynes said she was willing to serve in any role in the new government. She said in the UNC "There is a space for everybody who is interested in national development."
During her walkabout, Haynes was warmly welcomed by children and older people.
Her campaign team issued regular instructions for UNC supporters on the walkabout to maintain proper physical and social distancing in accordance with covid19 protocols.