Electoral boundary shift could sway votes says political analyst

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Electoral boundary shift could sway votes says political analyst

On the heels of news that the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) plans to introduce two new electoral districts to the Mayaro and Couva regional corporations, one political analyst is of the view that could be beneficial for both parties.

Political scientist Dr Bishnu Ragoonath, in a GML interview, said shifting electoral boundaries could result in the People’s National Movement (PNM) making inroads into municipalities currently governed by the United National Congress (UNC) come next local government elections.

However, Ragoonath noted that there was more possibility of this happening in the Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation (MRCRC), which he described as a marginal municipality, as opposed to the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (CTTRC), where the UNC has a firm grip.

Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Kazim Hosein piloted a bill in the Parliament on Wednesday based on the EBC’s 2021 report, which also proposed boundary changes to six other municipalities.

Ragoonath said the CTTRC was predominantly a UNC corporation, but the MRCRC was an easy toss-up, as there has been some back and forth between the PNM and UNC over the years. He said while the MRCRC has grown more UNC, putting an additional seat could easily sway the corporation into the PNM’s hands.

“I am not saying that it will. I am saying that could be the contention,” Ragoonath said.