By Andre Bagoo
Tuesday, July 30 2013 – newsday.co.tt
JACK WARNER, 70, has been re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Chaguanas West, after provisional results from the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) last night projected him as the winner of the bye-election. It was a crushing victory.
Up until press time, Warner provisionally received 12,631 votes while the United National Congress’s (UNC) Khadijah Ameen, 32 – his nearest rival – received less than half that amount or 5,126 votes.
At a victory rally in the constituency Warner last night said, “Ladies and gentlemen, my brothers and sisters, my nephews and nieces, my Chaguanas West family, we are one. We are one.”
Warner continued, “This victory represents democracy being demonstrated where the people articulate their needs. You have shown the power of a vibrant community which knows what is in its best interest. Chaguanas West knows what is in its best interest and tonight Chaguanas West has demonstrated that I am in their best interest. I, Jack Warner, merely reflected the voice of Chaguanas West. Tonight, I say a new era has dawned. I am merely the messenger.”
He said, “I want to say to you my heartfelt thanks and to assure you that the ILP will not be a Johnny-come-lately. We are here to stay.”
Conceding defeat on behalf of the UNC, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said, “This is just one battle of many battles. There are many more battles to come, the war is yet to be won.”
Ameen pledged to still work in the constituency and said, “the UNC is our party and we will stand firm.”
The result suggests the racial divide which has characterised Trinidad and Tobago politics for decades has been transgressed. Warner, who has for years attracted high levels of votes in the East Indian-based UNC party, appears to continue to have the support of that East Indian base in the constituency, notwithstanding his departure from the UNC.
There were jubilant scenes at the Invincible Recreation Ground, Charlieville, where Warner’s newly-formed Independent Liberal Party (ILP) celebrated victory.
Overall voter turnout figures were not available up to press time, but there were reports that many elderly members of the constituency turned out to vote. EBC officials also stated there was a higher-than-average turnout at polling stations in Felicity, where Warner has traditionally enjoyed a high level of support.
From as early as 7.30 pm the first known results from a polling division, at Charlieville Presbyterian School, came in showing Warner with a large lead: 187 votes to Ameen’s 48. It was a sign of things to come for the rest of the night.
The result brings to an end a grueling three months of intense campaigning which, for many, has resembled a general election. Going to into yesterday’s race, polls had variously predicted a victory for Warner with some national polls predicting a victory for Ameen.
Other candidates in the race did not muster much support. The People’s National Movement’s Avinash Singh had up to last night managed 422 votes; the Democratic National Assembly’s Dr Kirk Meighoo, 11 votes and the National Coalition for Transformation’s Oliver Norman managed 11 votes. They all, therefore, were last night on track to lose their $5,000 deposits since they did not cross the required level of votes. Singh conceded defeat early in the evening, as the first results began to stream in around 7.30 pm. Warner contested the election under his ILP banner and has described himself as that organisation’s “interim leader”. The ILP now thus becomes a fifth political presence in the 41-seat House of Representatives in which the UNC holds 19 seats, the COP 6, the TOP 2 and the PNM 12. St Joseph MP Herbert Volney is independent of the Whip. Warner is expected to be sworn in at Friday’s ceremonial opening of the Parliament to be held at the International Waterfront Centre, Port-of-Spain. Warner is likely to be allocated seat No 43 in the Parliament chamber, sitting next to Volney.
Warner’s victory reportedly marks the first time, in modern, post-Independence history, that a third Trinidad-based party has managed to establish a voice in the Parliament, in the face of the traditional two-party dominance of the PNM and UNC political forces and their progenitors. While there have been third parties in the chamber, these have been Tobago-based parties and coalitions. The COP has never won a seat on its own steam, having contested the 2010 polls as part of a specific coalition arrangement, with UNC political leader Persad-Bissessar at the helm.
In her concession speech, the Prime Minister last night said, “You win some and you lose some. I do not feel we have lost because we remain in the Government. We are still the Government, we still have 26 seats in Parliament: still the majority. We have a golden opportunity from this to learn and to become stronger.” She urged supporters to focus on Local Government elections next and offered her congratulations to Warner.
“I have to thank everyone for this resounding victory here today,” Warner said last night. “My dear friends, it was not easy. Up to this morning, it was not easy. Up to this morning I got the impression that there was a new Prado company in Chaguanas West,” he said referring to an accident earlier yesterday in which the security detail of Attorney General Anand Ramlogan knocked down a constituent.
“I say to you it was not easy but what this has proven tonight the result of this election is the voice of the people. If ever a statement… it means something tonight. The voice of the people is the voice of God.”
He continued, “Like David we came up against the might of Goliath and we won, the might of an entire Government and we won. We shall be grateful for God’s mercies. I never doubted your love….Let us vow to keep our politics clean. Never to go down in the gutter.”
Warner has twice offered the ILP to the Partnership coalition, but Persad-Bissessar rejected this during the campaign trail, while the COP is on record as having aggressively campaigned against Warner due to football-related allegations against him. The COP instead endorsed the UNC candidate, Ameen, in the bye-election race.
The election result come three months after Warner resigned as Minister of National Security on April 22 in the wake of the publication of a damning Concacaf ethics committee report. A day after, Warner quit as UNC chairman and that week also announced that he would quit as the Chaguanas West MP, a move which was made without the sanction of the Cabinet. A bitter election campaign then ensued.
VOLNEY QUITS UNC
Volney said he would continue his consultations with his constituents regarding a move from the UNC to the Independent Labour Party, whose interim leader jack Warner, won the Chaguanas West by election on Monday.
Herbert Volney, MP St Joseph, resigns from United National Congress
Last night on live national television I heard the Honourable Prime Minister and Leader of the United National Congress state that her government was still assured of the support of twenty six and possibly twenty seven Members of Parliament.
25 thoughts on “JACK WINS”
I have read some arm chair pundits giving their views and some are talking about a vaccuum being established. The transgression from a racial divide bespeaks of political maturity of the population as a whole which I may add is long overdue. The criteria would be on performance from now, beit Diego Martin, Siparia wherever. Politicians have had the view once they are elected they look after themselves,friends and families. The Rio Claro lad that made it on the international front is not a selfish man. He could have enjoyed retirement and saved himself from ridicule in the public eye. He has it imbibed into his character to help people and that is the meaning of public servant and that is the reason why he is where he is today. Great things come about from small effort. Let’s wait and see how he is accomodated by the Government and the progress the ILP would be making as of Friday when the people of Chaguanas West would have a voice in Parliament once more.
There is no vacuum being established…instead I see failure to serve the people and JAW steps up to fill an opportunity. There is no transgression from a racial divide ….instead there is suffering by CW from a lack of twentieth century resources that they are deserving of….these are …as one person said, …in CW.. mostly persons with tertiary education that are underpaid. Remember you have a leader and a cabal that give themselves SC status to start with…and with that a pay raise whenever they leave office to start their legal practice (they are busy fixing themselves)so SW decides we will vote otherwise. You blame them: I dont. JAW was their only option. The rest of the country can now look towards that option if JAW were to go after the opportunity. But to say something very controversial….do you think that FIFA is a typical organisation not devoid of corruption? All governments are in today’s world; in fact the G8s do not want any war to stop as the cash flow and significant business with any war effort are the desires of the persons that run the world and those that suck up to them. JAW was simply a scapegoat in the intense growth of FIFA business years ago to now ….starting perhaps with Havelange and company. JAW was used like we use toilet paper.
Jack is no scapegoat. He is dep in the mud with all the pigs. The issue is, he wants to be the top pig, and he get in trouble. He tried to bump of Blatter, what happen next. He bump of Panday and put Kamla. He now tried to bump off Kamla. She took pre-emptive action. He is not a team player. He is a dictator. From his days as TTFA general secretary. There is a pattern of behaviour you all don’t want to admit.
Brilliant Idiot – indeed you are one. You must try telling the people of CW this crap you blog. You are wearing blinkers; you need to take them off
Rio Claro lad is not a selfish lad?
You must be dreaming!!!
“I say a new era has dawned. I am merely the messenger.”Jack Warner.
Hey folks , I have news for you, and it’s this. ….Uncle Jack might be on to something here!I was no big fan of him , not because of any allegation made against him , and conveniently trumpeted ,by his conniving and yes- well known enemies-hell bent on revenge , for what he did to their master Basdeo Panday, but more to the fact that I am not too enamored by these new aged business blokes , forays into politics- where ever they might emenate.
For the record , let me add…..I ain’t care if their names were New York”s Mike Bloomberg, Texas Ross Pero, New Jersey Joe Corzine, etc.
Question is :- Can the best politicians in the land ,run a fortune 500 company? Maybe so, but it can be a challenge, so why should we expect anything different when business folks , or worst yet , some military bozo , dabble in politics?
The actions of the folks from Chagurnas , gives me great hope in our country. They , by this single act ,have repudiated the neo tribal , stupidity , as as perpetuated by De Queen, and her immoral handlers, and elite party gang .
It”s a wonderful thing. The nation , and region as a whole, I am certain were observing, and like myself ,will appreciate the level of political maturity as played out by these progressive voters.
Here is a lesson to other politicians to learn from, and better yet , emulate. Take care of your constituency, and they would reciprocate in kind , where necessary.
Now the job is about to begin, as hopefully this incipient impact of his ILP Green , can place the two major establishment party on notice.
Hey Jack , your ILP party ain”t passing no legislation on their own,in Parliament, so time for new alliances/ coalition. Let the games begin, FOR Democracy is alive and well.
It’s a beautiful thing, so long live the Republic of T&T,and all of our wonderful citizens!
Do not be so naive? JAW will become a target, as the people with money will plot against him. Some of us believe in the book of Revelations and it is our hope that God will change this rotten world where way too much are suffering.
Jerry, God and politics is a combustible mix.Is either one or the other.
BrilliantIdiot – are telling me you are without sin. Sorry you are not wearing blinkers – you are plain blind.
My friend politics is not apart from God – everything thing is part of God – where there is evil there is good.
As the past folks would say out of evil cometh good.
how ironc ‘jack giveth and jack taketh away..well what a thing ! i am not a jack fan or a PP fan but i cant help thinking outside d box and ask me self ‘self what is the worse thing can happend now ?’will kamla try to further punish jacko and not work with him or not allot funds to him ? or will kamAla continue to fight him ? either way it is win win sutiation jacko ? but what about t&t? CW is not ALL of t&t ? it was easy for jacko to win CW trust meh on dat,is more the people do for HE than he do for the people.CW tell dey selves they reach ‘ontop” and will do anything to mantain dat status even as simple as taht .But where will acko go from here ? i predict he will try dat same thing hrough out t&t and will get a “tobago special” lets see …
KIM ….Will you rise above this? Or are you going to be stuck in the mud forever? You gotta broaden your views…think outside the box. Kamla has more serious concerns than just Jack. Trinis are growing up now. The brainwashing days are over. Trinis now know when they are being played. The Elders cannot tell you how to vote anymore. Fear in this respect is no more.
jerry with all due respect doh even try to tell me what to do or how to think ? ok … you ever here the words ‘teif from theif does make God laugh ? ‘ well that is jacko ,kamala , CW and all of the PP party. and yes i will stick in the mud of good governance ,morality, and i will never ,ever look up to no crook .thief, or liars,unfortunately these are the vertues of our current leaders, everY single one of them. they make me sick ,is lie after lie after lie no end in sight ,what dey think ALL of t&t stupid ? what type of examples they setting for the young ones ? that is a main reason why the youths killing, robbing ,theifing , no ambitions they have it easier to theif and rob people that is all they seeing .. steupps … no example, no where to be seen.oh please jacko ent help nobody but heself he just more smart than kamala and he knew this time would come sooner or later so i give him that he play the right hand and win .. so he must be telling heself ‘why stop now ? andhe know kamala like the back of he hand so he almost certain she go do and say more stupidness all to his benifit ..a case of ‘one smart fall down in front of two smart door’ ..but i dont give up so easily i have great belief in all of the strong citizens of t&t ,i refuse to believe jacko could brainwash all of them .. ..
Open your Bible lady – JAW is like John – when he said there is someone who is coming whose straps on his sandals I cannot tie …..perhaps this is Carmona. You must have a read of his speech. Funny how he is not PNM, UNC, COP, IPL, etc. Just what Trinis need now..starting with the youths. Basically he is a leader who leads; working with principles, morals, standards, ethics, attitude etc. and who is not afraid to talk what most of us who are suffering wants to hear…as in the days of Jesus Christ. JAW is the start to a process of serious change for trinis. Foreigners cannot introduce this change…it has to come from within. JAW is just playing his part in this process.
Regardless of the outcome, this bye-election was bound to reflect poorly on the moral and spiritual values of Indos in Chaguanas.
If UNC had won: Indians voted for the Indian party
If PNM had won: Indians voted for their own race
Jack won: Indians voted for money/corruption.
Rather nasty, don’t you think?
Your elders sowed that seed a long time ago. You sow what you reap…doh blame JAW. That seed rotted. This is a new seed sowed. Instead the way I read this is the Indos as you call them are fed up of indentureship. They are moving on….you want to skull them more?..We are voting otherwise now. Indos as you say …but I say bona fide Trinis looking for representation as it suppose to be. You need to wake up and smell the coffee.
Ravi Singh, I am in complete agreement with everything you didn’t say.
As I have posted before Jack is not the first politician to bridge the racial divide. I remember Sham Mohammed as MP for Arangues,MtLambert, Sham Fleurs and the Leonville sction of St.Joseph. It was about 60% Afrosand mixed and 39% Indosand mixed and 1% white and chinese. The POS to Toco have crossed that threshold long ago. This something definitely new to central.
BrilliantIdiot as your name suggests, you did a lot of cramming at school -yeah. You should have taken subjects like geography and history more seriously or is it Sham was pumpkin vine family?
Jack’s victory reinforces the corruption, lack of integrity and greed which pervades the population of Chaguanas.
There were other factors at work which are gradually being discussed.
Did Ameen’s Muslim religion play a part, considering the Hindu-Muslim conflicy?
Did Ameen’s feminist platform turn off traditional Hindus?
Did caste play a role, considering that some are suggesting that most of Jack’s supporters are “low caste” ?
It would be most embarassing if Jack’s popularity becomes a national trend.
TMan – embarassing to who?
“Did caste play a role, considering that some are suggesting that most of Jack’s supporters are “low caste” ? T-Man
How hilarious! Hey T-Man, still living in that delusional, tribal world eeh? Get the fats correct buddy- All Indo Trinis – including family of 1st Hindu, political hero , Basdeo Panday, and female protege, PM Kamla B -who can trace their ancestry,back to the Fatel Rasack , are/were low caste! If not, they would not have made that decision to leave wonderful India , to find fame and fortunes in T&T.
Did he say that ,Ameen Muslim religion was a turn off….or worst yet, Ameen is a feminist?Ain’t it time you likewise quit sipping that infected ,Canadian Maple syrup , laced with Trini bush rum ? It must be affecting your sense of reasoning mi amigo.This chick won”t recognize feminism , if it rose up from de Caroni River , and hit her in the face.
Trust me, when I say , Neo Feminist , don”t get engage to men , two days before an election of national significance, in attempts to gain media attention, and capture votes.
Maybe in your naive world ,they instead do like what Pakistan political elite, in the late Benizia Butto did. Run around in Europe ,and Amerika , during her wild , educational days , wearing jeans , and frolicking on campus , doing heaven”s knows what , then hop on a plan , and come home to Islamabad, to marry some bozo , via an arrange marriage, to Mr 10% , and now President , after here terrible murder.
I instead, concur with the sentiments expressed by a few of my fellow progressives on this Trini Center board.
Our Indo Trini brothers and sisters , are proving ,via this pivotal election, that they are unprepared to always follow the prescribed script.I for one do not care as to their underlying motives. They made the decision to vote for an Afrikan male , in and entrench enclavethat belonged to the tribe, in defiance of the political gods , AND HEAD GURUS ,of the UNC.
If this habit becomes contagious across the length ,and breath of my country , on both sides of de so called racial divide , we as a nation will be de beneficiaries , don”t you think? Ah tell you folks , the person that can make me hate my country , ent born yet!
Luv humanity , and think beyond de tribe!
I tend to reserve some comments on individuals but I do have to agree with you on Benazir Bhutto. Her romping around in the UK during her student days was amazing and up to now I do not know how she became a lawyer, taking into consideration her father Zulfikar was executed by General Zia. That is why I was not surprised upon her assasination. The same thing I can say about Peter Clarke and some other island schol winners from T&T that are in foreign land. I have nothing against young people enjoying themselves but the question is how we define enjoyment is a reflection of our values, principles and beliefs. Many of them today are leading dignitaries showing, change is possible with time. The same comment is applicable to JAW. Maybe this can be summarised as: ‘The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice’.
Yeah Loyal Trini , but here is de difference, Peter Clark ain’t interested in following Papa Ellis lead ,and dabble in politics , but instead choosedto make money , and continue to grow rich , just like Erica Williams, Uncle ANR Robinson two kids,George Chambers daughter, or worst yet,Patrick , and Hazel Manning’s two idle , clueless , playboy sons.
Last time I checked however, Malika Panday was trying to imitate her neo – elitist , political lightweight,female , South Asian cosins , from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.Run into politics ,riding papa Basdeo shirt tail.
We have news for such characters . Trinis ain’t falling for that nonesense . Voters , led by Chagurnas folks,are demanding results from their resoective MP’s, and don’t give a hoot if he is destined for Guantanamo, our hang man noose,or Siberia, due to well publicized , yet unsubstantiated , crooked shenanigans.Well , it ain’t hurt if he just happen to have 990million in lots stash away in some Swiss, or Cayman Island Bank account.
We wish our people well.
You guys simply need to sit back and learn, as history would show that politics can be full of surprises,and not for naive, faint hearted people. Let the script play itself out.
Two months ago, T&T crime rates were off the charts ,with Jack looking more and more like a bobbole, with his fast talk , condesending comments against poor , Afrikan folks,and intellectual,nut job ,Dr Ryan , blaiming our Soca music for our social problems, and yet no concrete action.
Fast forward to today, and Jack is now lamenting this Pathetic ,state of runnaway crimes in our country, while his former boss , in Auntie K , is likewise ,trotting out failed theories of assault on poor ,Lavantille , or East / West corridor bandits , in efforts to curb violent crimes.
Instead of hiring more police , stepping up foot, and vehicular patrols , get out of the face of law enforcement officials, and allowed them to do their jobs, we are subjected to more escapist mantras, and photo ops to placate Emancipation crowd, as to her convenient absence during their national day celebrations.
As to de subject at hand , we can spend two semester at UWI Sociologically,analyzing, with already brainwashed kids , as to why dem Chagurnas folks voted for Jack ,irrespective,of alleged malfesience , or why previously , the folks of Tobago , gave the middle finger to TOP/UNC,and Auntie K ‘s PP hierarchy .
I love this land , and how about you?
Make or break the Govt
By Dana Seetahal
Story Created: Aug 2, 2013 at 8:27 PM ECT
It was not too long ago, in this country of nine-day wonders, that the Prime Minister and political leader of the UNC said that the result of the Chaguanas West by-election would make or break the Government. At the time it seemed to me to be an extraordinary statement which was an indication either of a supreme faith that the UNC would win the seat or that, if they did not, the Government would be forced to call a general election. The latter conclusion was borne out by the fact that the Government apparently was putting its everything into the campaign for the seat.
With the resounding defeat of the UNC candidate however, the PM has apparently pulled back and on Monday night claimed, “I do not believe we have lost”.
It is difficult to grasp what that statement could mean in the context in which it was made: the Government had lost the by-election and that was the only election on the cards.
Whether the PM was referring to the fact that the Government had a commanding lead “still” in the House of Representatives is moot since that was not in issue. No one doubts that, since it is only an arithmetical calculation. The obvious question now is whether the Government would remain intact as one unit.
That is a very real question and no attempt to dismiss Mr Warner’s victory as some have done as a case of money talking can diminish its impact. It is very easy to say that Mr Warner won because he/his party/his supporters spent a lot of money on the election and so swayed support of the constituents. If that is the yardstick then certainly the UNC should have equally been able to garner support. After all, they are in Government and they must have been able to command financial resources from supporters in and out of Chaguanas West.
Furthermore, just 24 hours before the election the PM was promising former Caroni sugar workers $50 million, not to mention a $48 million residential site in Felicity as well as a new health centre.
It is clear that Chaguanas West in large measure was not moved by the promised largesse. In any case even if Mr Warner had gone to the lowest level and “bought” votes by actual payment of money (there is no evidence that he did) what was to prevent the canny constituents from taking the money/benefit and in the privacy of the voting booth put their X wherever they wished?
I therefore reject the suggestion that Mr Warner won the seat because of the financial benefits he gave or could give to the voters. The last contention is also supported by the fact that a week or so before the election the UNC through one of its ministers (and supported by others) made the bold statement “… we are saying people should support Khadijah Ameen so that they will remain in Government and continue to receive what they have received in the past”. He suggested that when in Opposition support from the Government did not “flow” as it did when in Government. He said that the constituents “understand what we are saying: that you are in Government and you want to remain in Government, and you have to support somebody who is likely to be in Government”.
The obvious inference from all of the above is that the people of Chaguanas West were being assured that if they voted for a candidate backed by the Government their concerns would be dealt with because only the Government could guarantee that they continued to enjoy benefits.
Yet the people of Chaguanas West still rejected the Government’s candidate and by extension the Government. Some persons rue the fact of Mr Warner’s victory in terms such as those of a colleague: “a new depressing era” for T&T.
Presumably they feel that it is depressing that people could vote for a man “like Warner” (as some are wont to refer to him) in the light of the several allegations of misfeasance hanging over his head.
To me it is by far more interesting to determine why the constituents, who must certainly be aware of these allegations and the fact that they might suffer from Government neglect as punishment, voted not merely for the Opposition but for a candidate who has acrimoniously parted ways with the Government and who at this time will only be a one-man show in Parliament, not able to command State resources to their benefit.
I agree with Archbishop Joseph Harris and others who have acclaimed Jack Warner’s victory as a change from tribal voting. It is because Mr Warner, despite all the ole talk to the contrary, is clearly a black man in what has been termed as the heartland of UNC heartlands — where tribal voting has predominated for decades.
Some, such as Basdeo Panday, have said that Mr Warner’s victory is a rejection of the PM while others point to Mr Warner’s exemplary record of representation as an MP.
The fact is that the PM, during the pinnacle of the campaign for Chaguanas West, made it a case of the Government against Jack Warner. It seems clear to me then that however one wants to coat it the victory of Mr Warner over the UNC candidate by more than a two-to-one majority was a rejection of the Government. It may be that people still like the PM but it is obvious that in the UNC heartland the constituents wanted to send and did send a message: we don’t like your style of governance.
That is what the People’s Partnership has to deal with as it reflects on its loss — and Prime Minister, it is a loss. Can any of your other MPs claim to have demonstrated that they have the welfare of the people at heart as Mr Warner has successfully shown he has?
• Dana S Seetahal is a former Independent senator
Our own patriots at times tend to take the wind from the sail when our T&T individuals accomplish certain feats on behalf of OUR Nation. When Jamaica faltered in the 50s to become a member in the proposed federation, Eric Williams came up with the famous mathematical equation: one from ten leaves nothing. Dana is correct, KPB made the statement of making or breaking the Government with a loss of the CW seat, yet when advesity steers her in her face she states, ‘we are still the government’. When Basdeo Panday was able to win 100% increase for sugar workers through negotiations he brought relief for many families who were living in impoverishment despite the might of Caroni that was referred to as the ‘parasitic oligarchy’. The irony is the cabal in the UNC today is parasitic in it’s cause. Carmona is placing his stamp on having Independent senators that are specialized in their fields to bring about positive and meaningful change in T&T through debates. How often have we read about constitutional reform that is only ‘ole talk’ by many previous governments? http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2013-08-04/quality-representation-trumps The fact that NAR (3 boar rats in the same hole’ and now the PP cannot hold the seams of the country together is because coalition governments do not and cannot work in this small island of T&T because of the many political ideologies it is trying to serve compared to the PNM. That is why the PNM has a 50 year plus track history. This is where the ILP can become a serious threat to the PNM as it has already shown what it can do to the UNC through the political divide it has demonstrated of recent. Ralph Maraj can refer to the political vaccuum in this country on television but JAW through his actions is visionary and he is going about it systematically starting with effective representation by building bridges across the racial divide and eliminating tribal politics which is a millstone around our necks. A word of warning to some of my fellow bloggers, try and focus on policy rather than polluting your ‘diatribe of hate’ for certain individuals e.g. JAW. Redemption time is now through debates and not pseudo politicians running through parliament with guns (1990). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFGgbT_VasI
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