THREE Ds – two Davids and one Daniel – are now in a battle for the Pointe-a-Pierre constituency in the August 10 general election.
Tassa drummers in yellow, blue-shirted supporters clapping and singing union songs and vehicles playing campaign songs coloured the landscape in Pointe-a-Pierre on Friday morning as the candidates filed their nomination papers.
At Marabella South Secondary School, Daniel Dookie, for the People’s National Movement (PNM) and the two Davids, David Lee for the United National Congress (UNC) and David Abdulah, representing the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), arrived within minutes of each other and filed their papers before 10 am.
The opposing candidates maintained their distance.
Dookie, in a dark suit with a red tie, was the first to arrive. Instead of joining his contingent of flag-waving, music playing, red-clad supporting team, he arrived in the back seat of an Audi with the windows up. He was driven straight to the entrance of the school but got out and walked back to meet his supporters before facing the returning officer.
He was followed by Lee, who led his yellow-clad team and tassa drummers in a procession to the entrance of the building.
Abdulah, who arrived third with his supporters in light blue T-shirts, maintained his distance. When he passed by Lee’s contingent he made a beeline for the media. Neither Davidacknowledged the other.
As Dookie emerged, Newsday asked him togreet Abdulah for a photo.
The men touched elbows and Dookie, after wishing Abdulah well, noted, “I find you fighting me hard,” to which Abdulah replied, “Yes. You all (PNM) shut down the blasted refinery. We will never let you forget that.”
Dookie smiled and walked away saying, “We will talk about that.”
The two Davids agreed the closure of state-owned Petrotrin was a defining issue for the constituency, but Dookie said he had no intention of making it a political issue.
“Because it is very emotive. What is needed is compassion and understanding and the willingness to listen to those who are affected and to see how you can represent them as we chart a new Pointe-a-Pierre under my leadership.”
Dookie said under the UNC, for the past two terms Pointe-a-Pierre was neglected and underrepresented. Both Abdulah and Lee blamed the state of the constituency on the closure of Petrotrin.
“The government has literally decimated PAP, with the loss of jobs, closure of the refinery. Also small and medium businesses in Marabella and Claxton Bay have been decimated," Lee said. “A lot of closures have happened, as far as Point Lisas, where seven major plants have closed. You see a lot of rental signs on commercial buildings. People are out of work. Youths are crying out.
"This entire constituency has been neglected by this government.”
Lee, who is seeking a second term as MP, accused the government of starving the constituency of resources. He said through his resilience and that of his party he was able to do a lot of work which has put him in a favourable position.
“However, I respect all the candidates. I don’t take anyone lightly. I wish everyone well. I wish all my competitors well in this election race.”