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 Peter Kanhai

A hawk’s eye will be on the look-out for any Venezuelan who may want to try to vote with a fake Trinidad and Tobago identification card, says United National Congress (UNC) chairman Peter Kanhai.

Kanhai and a team met with Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) officials yesterday.

Speaking to the Express by phone, Kanhai said the issue of claims that Venezuelans having T&T ID cards was raised.

“The EBC position is that they are not aware of Venezuelans having ID cards. They maintained that position,” he said.

He said the UNC has no physical evidence of these cards but noted that there have been photos circulating on social media where it is purported that T&T identifications cards were in the name of persons who are Venezuelans.

“The way the EBC put it, there are Venezuelans and there are Trinidadians who may have been living in Venezuela and returned to Trinidad and who are entitled to have ID cards but to say that Venezuelans have ID cards, they are not confirming that, they are not aware of that,” he said.

He said the UNC indicated it is a matter they will continue to be vigilant about.

“It is the explanation put forward by them and we take it for what it is but we will continue to be vigilant particularly when it comes to polling day,” he said.

He said party personnel working on polling day will be provided with training.

“Particular those inside polling stations, their training will be to be vigilant and to look out for these kinds of things and of necessary raise objections with the presiding officers,” he said.

Kanhai said the UNC also raised concerns about persons in quarantine voting. He said the party requested that there be some monitoring mechanism in place whereby the party can scrutinise the process to ensure transparency.

Kanhai said a large part of the discussion centred on the conduct of the August 10 election during Covid-19.

He said the EBC indicated that legally no one can be forced to wear a mask.

In a release issued earlier the UNC stated that the team was informed of a request by the EBC for an increased level of police officers to enforce the social distancing rules on election day.

It stated that the intention by the EBC to review all polling stations to ensure the locations are large enough to accommodate voters and election day staff while following the social distancing guidelines was also raised.

“The UNC remains committed to free and fair elections for all and for the elections to reflect the true will of the people. The UNC will continue to work with the EBC as we draw closer to the polling day of August 10 and we have committed ourselves to raise all questions that we deem important to ensuring a just election process,” stated the release.

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