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‘It could have been worse’—Warner
“It could have been worse.” Those were the words of interim leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner as he addressed a small crowd outside the ILP’s constituency office on Mangra Trace East, Aranguez. Warner was commending Terrence Deyalsingh, the People’s National Movement candidate and the new MP for St Joseph, on his victory in the by-election. “I am sad that Mr Lalla will not be sitting next to me as an MP,” said Warner. “But it could have been worse.” Deyalsingh won the seat by less than 800 votes, amassing a total of 6,356 according to preliminary results from the Elections and Boundaries Commission last night. The United National Congress candidate Ian Alleyne gained 5,577 votes while the ILP’s Om Lalla gained 1,976 votes. “One thing this has proven is that you can’t take state resources to fight an election,” said Warner.
Warner, who said he regretted the mudslinging of his local government elections campaign, said he would never resort to gutter politics again. He said the gutter politics was reflected in the low voter turnout in St Joseph, which he said was the lowest since 1956. The EBC said the preliminary turnout was 53 per cent of the 26, 891 potential voters. “Fifty-six per cent was the lowest turnout since 1956. That is a vex vote and in that vex vote there were almost 2,000 people that were not vexed with us,” Warner said. Lalla described his loss as a baptism by fire and told supporters, who greeted him with hugs and cheers, that he was going to be preparing for the 2015 general election. “I feel strong, good about myself and good about the way I conducted my campaign,” he said. The ILP will meet on Thursday to assess the results of the local government elections and the St Joseph by-election. The party’s internal elections are expected to take place on November 30.
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