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 Muslimeen aided PNM election wins

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PostSubject: Muslimeen aided PNM election wins   Muslimeen aided PNM election wins I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 26, 2012 1:24 pm

Acting Police Commissioner James Philbert can get copious evidence from politicians who contested marginal seats in the October 7, 2002, general election that might confirm the Jamaat al Muslimeen, led by Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, played a crucial role in the People’s National Movement’s (PNM) 20-16 victory over the United National Congress (UNC). Even Eddie Hart, who won the marginal Tunapuna seat for the PNM, beating the UNC’s Carlos John, told the Sunday Guardian that the Muslimeen had roles in all the elections in which he had been a Tunapuna candidate, not just the October 7, 2002, polls. Carlos John, Winston “Gypsy” Peters, who lost the then Ortoire/Mayaro seat to the PNM’s Franklin Khan, and Sadiq Baksh, who lost the San Fernando West seat to the PNM’s Diane Seukeran, all confirmed that their fate in the marginal seats they fought was sealed by Muslimeen activity.

All said they would be willing to testify to that in interviews with law enforcement officials. Philbert and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) have been asked by High Court judge, Justice Rajendra Narine, to launch investigations into a sworn affidavit by Bakr that he struck a deal with Manning to have the Muslimeen’s multi-million-dollar debt to the State for property damage inflicted during the July, 1990, attempted coup forgiven. In return, according to the affidavit, Manning demanded that the Muslimeen use its muscle in the marginal constituencies to ensure a PNM victory in the crucial October, 2002, general election, which the PNM and UNC went into with 18 seats each. Former acting DPP, Carla Brown-Antoine has stated she had officially brought the controversial affidavit to Philbert’s attention. She was sworn in as a High Court judge on Friday, and her successor (acting) DPP is Roger Gaspard.

John recalled that around 3 pm on October 7, 2002, he realised some of his known supporters had not yet voted and he contacted them.
“They told me they had been threatened by Muslimeen members, and preferred to stay indoors, rather than go out to vote,” said John.

He added that members of one household on St Michael’s Road told him the Muslimeen had threatened to burn down their house if they voted. His two campaign managers, William Francis and Sagram Ali, could support him with even more details, for the benefit of Philbert and Gaspard, said John. “In our walkabouts, the Muslimeen was shouting us down. There is no doubt that in that election the PNM dealt in organised thuggery,” John declared. Hart, who in 2002 polled 10,164 votes to John’s 9,540 said he spent 16 years in the Parliament, and one day would tell all, but now was not the right time. Asked about whether the Muslimeen helped him in 2002, Hart replied: “There was a spate of elections around that time, and in all of the elections the Muslimeen were involved. “But I cannot say anything about Mr Manning and Mr Abu Bakr.” Sadiq Baksh lost San Fernando West by just 249 votes, polling 8,842 to Diane Seukeran’s 9,091.

He said he had personally presented evidence of Muslimeen involvement in the 2002 elections. “We would be fooling ourselves to say it never happened,” said Baksh. Winston “Gypsy” Peters polled 10,132 votes to Franklin Khan’s 11,057 and he recalled:
“There was a lot of intimidation. The Muslimeen were in the area for days on end, and election day they were preventing people from coming out and voting. “I believe that was why the PNM won the seat.

“I am sure there are constituents who would support me, while there are others who are still too scared to talk.” Gypsy said even law officers knew that the Muslimeen were on a reign of terror in the constituency. “People in high office in the Police Service knew what was happening. Telling them was like telling the wind,” said Gypsy, who remembered that current National Security Minister Martin Joseph spearheaded the PNM election campaign in Ortoire-Mayaro.
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