A look at Lengua/Indian Walk

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

THE district of Lengua/Indian Walk has an electorate of 8,388 as at August 14, 2023, the local government election date. 

Out of that number, approximately 35 per cent went out to vote in the “mother of all local government elections.”


More than 30 days later the population still does not know which political party won that district as a second recount resulted in a tie between the two parties, the People’s National Movement (PNM) and the United National Congress (UNC). The district was also contested by the Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP) with its candidate  Bronson Douglas obtaining 87 votes.

Both the UNC and the PNM each received 1,428 votes.

Campaign posters of candidates

Citizens are realising the power of one vote as seen with the results of the other recounts, that one vote was able to off-balance districts, much to dismay of other hopeful political parties.

Lengua/Indian Walk is the only district yet to be decided as the EBC has declared that the electorate will have to go back to the polls to break the tie. The date for a new election is still yet to be set should it be allowed, as the UNC has taken the EBC to court on the matter.

A voter whose ballot in favour of the UNC was allegedly deemed invalid as it was not initialed on the back by the presiding officer, filed a petition in the High Court.

Home to the Merikins, former African slaves who fought on the British side in the American War of Independence,  the rural district situated between Matilda and St. Mary’s falls under the Princes Town Regional Corporation of which all other  nine electoral districts were won by the UNC.

Neil Transport Services

Lengua/Indian Walk has seven polling divisions with the largest being polling division 3655.

An initial count declared a victory for the PNM’s candidate Reverand Auntly Granthume.

If the PNM had won, they would have taken away the district from the UNC, but UNC candidate Nicole Gopaul who queried the result, resulting in a recount and a tie.


In 2019, the UNC received 1,871 votes compared to the PNM’s 1,577 out of an electorate of 8,141, based on the EBC’s reports.

Back in 2016, the PNM won with 1,729 votes over the UNC that got 1,519 votes out of an electorate of 7,950.

In 2013, the PNM had also won with 1,872 votes with the UNC garnering 1,222 ballots out of an electorate of 7, 710. It is to be noted that the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) had also contested that year winning 621 votes.

The year, 2013 was also the first time that both Lengua and Indian Walk were meshed into one electoral district.

The people of Lengua/Indian Walk believes that a fresh election is the best option to settle the score.

Resident Jaglal Sieunarine

Most though, also believe that it would not make a difference in the type of representation, the electorate would receive in the next three to four years.

AZP News visited the area recently and the topic of election seemed to be taboo as most who gave their opinions did not want their names to be published. Some were even tight-lipped at just the mention of elections.

Some  AZP News spoke with either did not vote, or if they voted, voted in the district of St. Mary’s.

When asked, no one could predict a winner if a new election is to be called.

Mary Lee, 62 who lives at Petit Café is one of those who believe the electorate should go back to the polls.

She believes that whoever wins should focus on programmes for youths to develop as they need activities to keep them away from a life of crime.

And like most residents, Lee said they needed better roads.

Another who did not vote, was uncertain if he wanted to vote whenever the election was next called. 

Jaglal Sieunarine, 65, said, “Going back to the polls would be the best thing.”

Wayne Alexander, 67, said, “It does not make a difference if they go back to the polls.”

He thinks that most of those elected as councillors failed in their duties and responsibilities.

Another elderly gentleman shared the same opinion.

The 74-year-old  who is enduring a landslip by his house said when he asked for assistance in obtaining backfill material from both the Ministry of Works and the Princes Town Regional Corporation, he had too many back and forths and frustrated, he ended up using his own money to buy material and fix the problem himself.

He said, “Politicians do not really care about ordinary citizens. I could care less about who wins or not, because it is the same thing right through.”

A 36-year-old mechanic said, “Residents should go back to the polls. That might be the best thing to do.”

The bad roads were his main issue saying the side streets were in need of repair.  Robberies were another issue.

A 54-year-old resident said, “It does not make sense we vote. Politicians do not make a difference. They speak nicely of representation and reform but they don’t really care. Every time you try to meet with them, they are not in office. You only see them around election time.”

An On-the-Job trainee is looking forward to the new election date.

A supporter of the PNM candidate, she said her neighbours and relatives were a bit upset that the result ended in a tie and those who did not vote will be coming out in larger numbers to attempt to ensure a strong win for the PNM.

Lisa Atwater is also hoping for the same.

She is the campaign manager for Granthume.

Atwater told AZP News, “We have laws in Trinidad and Tobago, that we abide by. We are abiding by the decision of the EBC as we understand it to be. We will let it take its course. In the meantime, we are mobolising to re-campaign. We are hoping for a more comfortable victory.”

Should a fresh election be decided by the High Court, in local palance, “everything would be started from scratch” which would mean, fresh nominations and the number of electors can change based on their birth date.

PEP candidate, Bronson Douglas told AZP News he was still contemplating if he wanted to offer himself up as a PEP candidate for the area.

If the UNC either wins from the fresh election or the Court ruling in their favour, it would mean all the districts of the Princes Town Regional Corporation would be under their control.

The UNC having requested to see certain EBC documents have been allowed by Justice Nadia Kangaloo who was assigned as an emergency judge to deal specifically with that matter following an application for disclosure.

The documents were expected to be delivered to the Supreme Court Registrar to undergo the UNC’s scrutiny.


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