Monday, January 21, 2013


Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) political leader Ashworth Jack has said he does not know anything about his party using electronic canvassing on polling day which is in breach of the election rules.

However, Jack said that electronic canvassing was a modern way to reach out to voters, especially the youth.

Jack was speaking to the media after casting his vote at the Mount Grace community centre, Mason Hall, Tobago a short while ago.

Questioned on allegations by the People's National Movement (PNM)that the TOP was utilising an automated voice service to reach people on land and cell phone lines, Jack responded: "I don't know anything about it, if it is so I will check."

Jack said someone had informed him of this some 10 minutes before he arrived to vote.

Questioned on whether this was a campaign style of the TOP, Jack said, "I think in 2013 it should be a campaign style of everyone because in order to reach especially the young voters you have to go on the internet and Facebook and so on."

While the TOP has been accused of electronic canvassing, Jack claimed that another party was using people to call voters.
"One gentleman was sitting there and he was actually calling people and soliciting votes," said Jack.

Jack said there were other reports of inconsistencies but he did not want to speak about them as they were not verified.

"I was called earlier today by the police and told that someone say that I had a flag on my car although I have not had a flag on my car for a couple days," said Jack.

Questioned on the violence that occurred during the election campaign as one man was chopped yesterday, Jack said it was "extremely regrettable".

He disclosed that the man who was chopped was a party supporter and said he intended to visit him at the hospital sometime today.
"It is extremely regrettable that people descend into violence," said Jack as he appealed to TOP supporters to keep the peace saying that election is an alternative to violence.

Questioned on the management by the police of the election campaign , Jack said there was a lot to be desired.

"There was one inspector who wasn't slated to work but he had come out in full police uniform and was directing the traffic all over the place, breaking up the motorcade," said Jack.

He said when people are allowed to get away with such things, it emboldens them and the situation worsens.

Questioned on how he felt this morning, today being election day, Jack said, "When I got up this morning, I felt like I always feel that there's a God, he rules over men and that everything that happens for the rest of the day will be directed by God. At the end of the day God's way will be done."

Jack said healing will begin after he becomes Chief Secretary.
"I am really sad at how polarized we have become and I make this solemn pledge, once I am elected chief secretary, the healing will start immediately, we cannot have an island of 44 to 55,000 and it is depolarized, how do you move forward, how would you get productivity?"

Reproduced from Trinidadexpress

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