Friday 19 July, 2019

Kamla warns of Gov't plan to 'thief' elections

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar speaks at the UNC's Monday Night Forum on June 24, 2019. Photo via Facebook, Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar speaks at the UNC's Monday Night Forum on June 24, 2019. Photo via Facebook, Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Government may issue identification cards to Venezuelans to allow them to vote in this country’s upcoming Local Government and General Elections.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar made the accusation while speaking at the United National Congress’ (UNC) Monday Night Forum at the Aranguez North Secondary School, as she said this is the Government’s plan to steal the elections when they are called.

Persad-Bissessar said just days before the recently concluded Venezuelan migrant registration process Government filed Immigration Regulations in the Parliament which took effect immediately upon publication in the Gazette.

Opposition has since applied to annul these regulations, however, a simple majority is required.

She said the changes to the Immigration Regulations give the National Security Minister, the Minister under whose purview immigration sits, the power to regularise and naturalise “aliens” – defined under the legislation as non-Commonwealth citizens.

Photo via Facebook, Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Persad-Bissessar noted that if these Venezuelan nationals are given residency, they would be eligible to vote in the Local Government Election. If they are granted citizenship, they would be allowed to vote in the General Election.

She said there was no way the Opposition could support that kind of law.

"I am putting the people of Trinidad and Tobago on notice... that this wicked devious PNM Government that is their plan to steal elections whenever they are called."

Persad-Bissessar called on Government to disprove her theory as she questioned the true number of Venezuelan nationals registered.

"How many venes have you registered? How many venes will become residents and citizens to vote to thief the elections in Trinidad and Tobago? How many?"

What the EBC says on eligibility to vote:

Who is eligible to vote: A citizen of Trinidad and Tobago who is 18 years of age or older and has resided in an electoral district/constituency for at least two months prior to the Qualifying Date.

A Commonwealth citizen, 18 years of age or older, who has resided legally in Trinidad and Tobago for a period of at least one year and has resided in an electoral district/constituency for a least two months prior to the Qualifying Date.

A Non-Commonwealth Citizen, 18 years of age or older, who has resided legally in Trinidad and Tobago for a period of at least five years and has resided in an electoral district/constituency for a least two months prior to the Qualifying Date.

Non-Commonwealth Citizens are only eligible to vote in City or Borough elections within Trinidad. They cannot vote in Parliamentary or Tobago House of Assembly elections.

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