Nomination Day has come and gone but it cannot be ignored the numerous infractions made by both candidates and supporters. While the PUP had agreed with the Police Commissioner yesterday to not have motorcades during the Nomination Day event, at least two areas were visibly going against that agreement. In the Queen’s Square division the PUP candidate had a convoy of vehicles including a passenger bus. In the Port Loyola division PUP’s Gilroy Usher also had at least four vehicles taking him to the nomination centre. Commissioner Chester Williams spoke to the media to conduct a post mortem of sorts on what transpired today.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Even though there was already this agreement that there would be none that we must still prepare ourselves in the event that there would be spontaneous motorcades because we anticipated that. And so what we did is that in Eastern Division Mr.Rosado had arranged with the City Council to assist in the escorting of the motorcades for both political parties and the reason for the escort was to ensure that there was compliance with the regulation, two there were compliance with what was agreed upon in the bond that they signed and three that they adhered to the route that they had given to the police for the motorcade. And so it was with that spirit that the police and city traffic were engaging in escorting the different motorcades to the respective locations and back to where they retired so that is what took place this morning. A few persons were arrested for breaching the quarantine regulations and again as I had said it is important that we adhere to the quarantine regulation with a view to ensure that we contain the further spread of the COVID virus within our communities and so there were people who were not practicing social distancing they were dealt with. There were persons who were not wearing masks, some of them were dealt with but again the arrests to do not reflect the amount of violations that were out there and I wish that the police were more forceful in enforcing the regulations because for the most part the police officers were still warning people. I have said the time to warn has come and gone and we had been on it with the political parties long ahead of today making them understand that we expect that they are going to abide by the quarantine regulations and also ensure that their supporters abide by the regulations and we saw many breaches today from both sides and it is something that we will be looking at. We have a number of photographs that were taken of persons who were in violation and again we try as best as we can to avoid confrontation.”
Commissioner Williams says that today’s display of infractions serves as what he will need to prepare for come the general elections on November 11.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I just wish that the politicians would have understand that it is not the amount of persons who go with you to a nomination centre that determine whether you win or lose the election but rather the persons who come out and vote on election day and if I were running for politics I wouldn’t want my supporters out there now because I wouldn’t wan them to contract COVID then when election time they can’t go vote for me. So I would have told my supporters you know what stay home so that when election time come you’re healthy and you can come vote for me. Now with all that transpired today there might be a super spreader and a number of persons who were out there enjoying the pomp and whatever may not be able to go and vote election day because they might eventually come out being COVID positive. We’re asking that once you have cast your vote please go home and rest and wait for the results to come out later on. We do not want any mass gathering, we do not want any celebration. I know that when victory is announced that those supporters of the victorious party will want to come out and celebrate but they must put that celebration behind them for the greater good of our community. We cannot continue to behave recklessly and when our people are getting infected and they’re dying from this disease we begin to question what is this one doing, what is that one doing — we must all question ourselves what are we doing individually to prevent ourselves from contracting the virus and infecting other persons.”
As the Commissioner noted, the agreement to not have a motorcade was not illegal but rather, it was a gentleman’s agreement of sorts.