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Labour and opposition supporters clash over boundary decision

 

The name-calling and taunts from the Labour supporters to opposition members of Parliament drew the attention of supporters from the Team Unity Alliance, who arrived a little later than the Labour supporters. The alliance is made up of PAM, CCM and PLP.

 

The persons dressed in their red t-shirts and polo’s marked “full confidence” were already out in their numbers at Government Headquarters for a special “meet and greet” event. This exercise gave the public a chance to meet their constituency candidates and ask questions pertaining to development among others.

 

But while persons were having their first-hand opportunity to meet the Labour candidates, Team Unity also had their “show of support for the boundaries issue” exercise at the Old Treasury Building.

 

Even though the event was scheduled to start at 12:30 pm, at the time of this publications arrival around 1:30pm, less than a dozen persons dressed in white, and Leader of Team Unity Dr. Timothy Harris were present.


In the midst of the two separate events, the members of the Boundaries Commission were elsewhere in a meeting at Government Headquarters. But then word got around that a decision was made to have the constituency boundaries changed.

 

That decision sparked an overwhelming excitement from a number of Labour supporters who gathered on Church Street waiting for the Labour candidates who were inside of the headquarters.

 

As both Labour candidates Konris Maynard and Vance Gilbert emerged from Government Headquarters, with their hands in the air, Labour supporters ran to embrace the two men.

 

But the moment attracted a strong response from the PAM candidate for constituency #4, Lindsay Grant. The taunts from the crowd seemed too much to handle, as Grant, who was facing the entrance of headquarters, turned around to the crowd and returned fire in colourful style. 

 

Labour supporters responded in a similar manner before other members of Team Unity were seen trying to calm Grant, who appeared to be still angry by the heckling of the Labour crowd.  

 

However, to many Unity supporters, it seemed like the ‘meet and greet’ event and the Boundaries Commission meeting were “orchestrated acts” by the Labour Government.

 

“They put all this together. How come all of a sudden their supporters turn out for this, and them so happen to change the boundaries? It is unfair and Douglas has to go,” one Unity supporter said.

 

Other Unity supporters expressed their disappointment in the Labour supporters, whom they claimed victimized them when they arrived to show support for the candidates.

 

“We came out here peacefully to show support for Team Unity and when we arrived, several of them were cursing us, calling us all sort of names. It was terrible I mean, is this what we want for our country,” one Unity supporter asked.

 

But the taunts from the Labour supporters to opposition members of parliament who arrived for an emergency sitting of the National Assembly angered Unity and Labour supporters who were heard exchanging a few expletives with the other patrons.

 

On one occasion, persons were seen separating a few irate women.

 

While several other Unity supporters arrived with placards shouting “Douglas must go”, others gathered in a small group singing a number of hymns in support of their alliance.

 

Although supporters from the Labour gathering refused to speak to this publication, one supporter, who was at the time witnessing the dialogue between the two sides, expressed disappointment in their behavior.

 

“You might think I am joking, but a lot of them you see cursing and trying to fight each other are actually family, neighbours, close relatives and friends. It sad to see that a time when everybody is supposed to be uniting for a way forward, it just this sort of division among our people,” said the supporter.

 

With the full force of elections now in the air, the divisions are expected to continue in what some call the “Silly Season.”

 

 

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