CONSTANTINE Park in the key marginal seat of Tunapuna, was taken over yesterday by a sea of thousands of yellow-clad United National Congress (UNC) supporters, with splashes of white from Congress of the People (COP) supporters, during the Renewal Rally in honour of the fifth anniversary of the People’s Partnership administration.
Popular soca tunes blared from speakers set up at strategic points as the sun shone down on the early arrivals yesterday afternoon but in addition to the hot sun, PP supporters had to contend with a fine layer of dust being blown about them by a steady breeze.
Newsday observed four UNC booths at which interested persons could fill out pledge cards, indicating whether they wanted to volunteer or to join either the “Women for Kamla” or “Youth for Kamla” groups. One of the persons running these booths said persons who submit completed forms are usually contacted “the day after the event”. All vendors interviewed by Newsday said they were not charged any fees to set up their tents at Constantine Park yesterday. This included the temporary tattoos tent operated by Riaz Kissoon, owner of “Monster Tattoos”. Twenty dollars got you a small colour tattoo while $40 got you a larger one, both types said to last “about one week”.
Police officers from the Northen Division and the Northern Division Task Force (NDTF), as well as employees of a private security firm were observed patrolling Constantine Park throughout the function.
In the lead-up to the speeches, which began shortly before 5 pm, the growing crowd enjoyed performances from Chutney-Soca artiste Samraj “Rikki Jai” Jaimungal, Raymond Ramnarine and his band Dil-E-Nadan, LEV8 performing “Call to Election Victory” and Michael “JaMelody” Williams. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who had been ordered on two-days rest by doctors last Thursday, seemed in vibrant spirits as she greeted members of the crowd upon her arrival at approximately 5.45 pm.
Ramdoolarie Sooknanan, a resident of Carapichaima in the Couva North constituency said, “They (PP) have performed, they have done a lot for us and they will get my vote.”