Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein  and his brother Ryaad Hosein, candidate for Les Efforts East in the San Fernando City Corporation. Photo: Dexter Philip

OVER 50,500 people are registered to vote in San Fernando and minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein said he expects a high voter turnout this time in comparison to previous local government elections.

Kazim Hosein cast his vote around 9 a.m. at the San Fernando Central Secondary School.

He accompanied his brother Ryaad Hosein, candidate for Les Efforts East in the San Fernando City Corporation, as well as outgoing San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello.

Ryaad Hosein said he was ready to serve in the San Fernando City Corporatation.

“Yes, I am confident. I did the ground work, it is for the electorate now to make that decision and the Almighty God and I am ready to serve”, he told the media.

Kazim Hosein said that since 4 a.m. he, his brother and their teamwere visiting various polling stations, and the voter turnout had been “surprisingly heavy”, and the process slowed only when the rain showers fell.

“We have over 50,500 people in San Fernando registered to vote. I think people are more conscious now of the list local government election than before. I have seen them at the rallies and at the cottage meetings. People have been coming out. Even in the affluent areas people are coming out to listen to the People’s National Movement”, he said.

“We expect a better turnout than previous years. Look at the rally that we had at the Savannah, the launch and the campaign. Nobody expected it. Look at Jean Pierre Complex - it was huge. Nobody was paid to come out. People came out on their own. The polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. we have our machinery in place to get people to come out and they will. They have two hours’ time off from their work to vote. This (PNM) organisation I belong to is well-oiled and we have been planning for this months now”, said Kazim Hosein.

The People’s National Movement co-ordinator for San Fernando said no irregularities were reported to him.

“We have our election machinery in place and we intend to fulfil our obligations”, he said.

However, TV6’s multi-media journalist Cindy Raghubar-Teekersingh told Hosein of an incident which she experienced when she went to cast her vote at Princes Town.

Raghubar-Teekersingh said that as she was about to place her ballot into the ballot box the presiding officer noticed there was no initial on it, nor was there a number.

“They went on to ask the lady that was supposed to put the initial why she didn’t. She said she will put it after. There was a little bit of confusion because how can you access a ballot once it has been placed”, Raghubar Teekersingh told him.

The minister of local Government responded: “These presiding officers had training and they should be trained enough and knowledgeable enough to know that things go right. That is not acceptable”.

Raghubar-Teekersingh said that incident was “sorted out” and she cast her ballot in the box.