did this concept of voter padding ever sprung to prominence?
The word Voter Padding was introduced in a big way last July/August by the Leader of the opposition Mr. Patrick Manning. This according to him was a plot by the EBC and the UNC to falsely register voters from one constituency to another in order for the UNC to win seats. It is becoming quite clear to many , and even by his own people that this was one of his strategies, that he had come up with to make his followers believed that they were cheated from being in government- to quote Mr. Yetming " making excuses for losing".
While the PNM ruled for 30 years there was never a prominent charge of voter padding by the media or other parties. In 1986, there was no charges of Voter Padding. People were looking for more progressive and modern type of government. In 1991, the PNM under Patrick Manning was voted into Government with a minority of the votes cast. The EBC was good and it's list was good. Mr Mannings comments were " this is how the West Minister system operates, the first past the post". After some three years in office, he realized that he was not able to run the country any more, he called elections. The result of this is that he led his party into opposition. Come July/August 2000, he was heard to say that during his term of Government, the EBC and the UNC was conspiring in covert Voter Padding exercises, and this was one of the reasons why his Government was toppled.
In the election year of 2000, as a major part of his campaign strategy, Mr. Manning made an onslaught of Voter Padding charges. This was backed up by heavy media attention, police action and blatant terrorizing of the electorate(particularly UNC supporters). Mr. Manning accused the EBC as working in collaboration with the UNC to ensure a UNC Victory. However, in 1999, during the local government elections, when the PNM won the majority of seats the EBC was good and the lists was good. No Voter padding. For 2000 elections the EBC got back bad, and the list padded. In the THA elections in 2001, the PNM won most of the seats. The same EBC turn back good and the list good. Now for General Elections 2001, they get back bad again, and Mr. Manning and company has already declared that there is some new form of Voter padding.
Not a single Person has being convicted of Voter Padding.
In San Fernando
West alone, the UNC gained a total of over 2700 votes compared to it's
1995 figure. Did all of this come from Voter padding? ALL other constituencies
recorded an increase in votes, did this come from voter padding? Are you
trying to say that over 70,000 people were involved in voter padding? Why
then, were there not more than 25 arrests made? And of these couple of
arrests, why is only being linked to the UNC? The Media has been giving
headline news to the Voter padding stories, all the allegations, all the
police action, all the PNM complaints,the DPP comments etc.
Are you aware of how many times these cases concerning Voter Padding have been called before the Courts? Had the media ever given similar coverage of these hearings? Whenever these cases are called before the Magistrates, the prosecution always claim that they are not ready to proceed. This after the Police had done their ' intensive investigations' (raided the homes of Mr. Baksh and other UNC officers, siezed computers)and refferal of files to the DPP, and arresting and handcuffing of old women and other females, they always claim that they are not ready to proceed.
Are you aware that one of the cases of Voter Padding was thrown out by Magistrate Beoke because of the absence of evidence? By extrapolation, because of the similarity of the charges and evidence, one can assume that all the other cases may be similarly thrown out.
So what now Mr. Manning? The police and the Judicuary are conspiring with the UNC? " dead men voting, nine year old boy voting, Joe Pieres ink washing out, polling divisions missing, duprey paying people to vote, indian guyanese voting, planeload of people voting, Raoul John in short pants sipping scotch at the prime minister residence, black people selling out"
To be continued.