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Rowley’s PNM wins Trinidad &Tobago general elections

 

Winning PNM leader Dr. Keith Rowley

Winning PNM leader Dr. Keith Rowley

The winner the People’s National Movement (PNM) was victorious capturing the crown of government (22-19). Trinidad and Tobago’s political parties, certainly the major ones, had no doubt with the General Elections coming on the heels of their Independence celebrations; planned to use the celebrations as part of their campaign strategies.

In her independence message, Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who sought another five-year term in office, said everyone can be very proud of the achievements, development and influence as an independent nation.

“We are a model to the world as a diverse nation of people of many origins who have been able to forge an enduring unity. We are richer for our diversity and differences and we are stronger as a nation because of the harmony which exists.”

“We can be very proud of the performance of our economy, our education system, our healthcare, our infrastructure and our provision of homes. We can also be proud of our achievements in sports, through cricket, football, boxing, and athletics. But let us make the most of what we have and move forward to a better tomorrow.

“Let us all work to continue the progress made since independence and to secure an even better future for Trinidad and Tobago.”

Opposition leader Dr. Keith Rowley said as the oil-rich twin island republic celebrates its 53 rd anniversary of independence, it is doing so “facing challenges across the landscape of government and markets and the very value system on which this country was founded.

“We meet this anniversary of independence, with our people’s patience and confidence in our Government, at a historic low. We have witnessed behaviours and actions from high office holders that we could not previously fathom.

But as the congratulatory messages poured in, there was a potential problem on the sunrise horizon. Ousted Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar threatened to call for a nullity of the elections

Political journalist Peter Richards reported from the capital, Port of Spain after the elections. We adapt as follows:

The main opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) won the general election here on Monday defeating the coalition People’s Partnership (PP) of Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar that came to power in 2010.

The preliminary figures released here show that the PNM had won 22 of the 41 seats with the remaining 19 going to the PP that had won 29 seats in the 2010 general election.

“I want to thank all the people for the very hard work they did in bringing a successful end in what was a difficult election. I want to thank Trinidad and Tobago for demonstrating once again that we can conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of the name Trinidad and Tobago,” PNM leader Dr. Keith Rowley told reporters.

The 66-year-old volcanologist, one of the longest serving legislators, said the election proceedings “have gone down relatively smooth.

“Election Day had some challenges but at the end of the day, once again I think we had a very successful operation and I am pleased to be in a position to say that the PNM has won the majority of the seats.

“We are confident that the country has been placed in good hands, we have prepared ourselves well, we expect that we will take the responsibilities of managing the affairs of all the people of Trinidad and Tobago in a way that will allow us all as a people to look at tonight …as the beginning of a new era.”

Both Persad Bissessar and Rowley easily retained the seats they had in Parliament over the past two decades.

A number of government ministers including Roger Samuels, Lincoln Douglas, attorney general Garvin Nicholas, as well as the former president of the Senate, Raziah Ahmed, were among the casualties of the poll.

The PNM was also able to regain the two seats in Tobago it lost in 2010 with  Shamfa Cudjoe winning the Tobago West and Ayanna Webster-Roy winning the Tobago East seats respectively.

Leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Austin Jack Warner, who said his party would have been a major factor in determining the new government, failed to win the Chaguanas East seat he switched to after successfully contesting the Chaguanas West seat in 2010 and 2013.

“I said win lose or draw it would be my last hurrah, “Warner said, telling reporters “it is a PNM victory and one for ILP”.

Warner said his “greatest success” had been the failure of Persad Bissessar to win the election, adding “Kamla will never see government again in our collective lives”.

PNM supporters took to the streets in celebration and Rowley said “we have taken the responsibility of offering ourselves and now we will proceed with what we outlined in our manifesto given the circumstances that have developed bearing in mind all the time that we do not govern for ourselves but we are servants of the people of Trinidad and Tobago”.

Kamla Persad Bissessar

Kamla Persad Bissessar lost to Rowley

But four days after the elections, former Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar announced plans to challenge the result in court. She claimed the entire election process was sabotaged as a result of what she described as a sudden change in the regulations.

Persad-Bissessar blamed the extended hour granted to voters in Trinidad following a heavy rainstorm as playing a key role in what she maintained was an unfair 23-18 victory for the People’s National Movement (PNM).

According to the ex PM, the People’s Partnership was comfortably ahead in the polls at 6 p.m. and the eventual result was adversely affected by “the sudden unilateral decision by the EBC” to extend hours of the poll from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“We have received reports that citizens were unable to cast their vote at certain polling stations because the officials of the EBC were themselves unaware or uncertain about the decision to extend the time of voting until 7 pm. Additionally, many citizens were unaware of this extension of time and hence did not cast their vote,” Persad-Bissessar alleged.

 

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

 

Winning PNM leader Dr. Keith Rowley

Winning PNM leader Dr. Keith Rowley

The winner the People’s National Movement (PNM) was victorious capturing the crown of government (22-19). Trinidad and Tobago’s political parties, certainly the major ones, had no doubt with the General Elections coming on the heels of their Independence celebrations; planned to use the celebrations as part of their campaign strategies.

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In her independence message, Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who sought another five-year term in office, said everyone can be very proud of the achievements, development and influence as an independent nation.

“We are a model to the world as a diverse nation of people of many origins who have been able to forge an enduring unity. We are richer for our diversity and differences and we are stronger as a nation because of the harmony which exists.”

“We can be very proud of the performance of our economy, our education system, our healthcare, our infrastructure and our provision of homes. We can also be proud of our achievements in sports, through cricket, football, boxing, and athletics. But let us make the most of what we have and move forward to a better tomorrow.

“Let us all work to continue the progress made since independence and to secure an even better future for Trinidad and Tobago.”

Opposition leader Dr. Keith Rowley said as the oil-rich twin island republic celebrates its 53 rd anniversary of independence, it is doing so “facing challenges across the landscape of government and markets and the very value system on which this country was founded.

“We meet this anniversary of independence, with our people’s patience and confidence in our Government, at a historic low. We have witnessed behaviours and actions from high office holders that we could not previously fathom.

But as the congratulatory messages poured in, there was a potential problem on the sunrise horizon. Ousted Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar threatened to call for a nullity of the elections

Political journalist Peter Richards reported from the capital, Port of Spain after the elections. We adapt as follows:

The main opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) won the general election here on Monday defeating the coalition People’s Partnership (PP) of Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar that came to power in 2010.

The preliminary figures released here show that the PNM had won 22 of the 41 seats with the remaining 19 going to the PP that had won 29 seats in the 2010 general election.

“I want to thank all the people for the very hard work they did in bringing a successful end in what was a difficult election. I want to thank Trinidad and Tobago for demonstrating once again that we can conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of the name Trinidad and Tobago,” PNM leader Dr. Keith Rowley told reporters.

The 66-year-old volcanologist, one of the longest serving legislators, said the election proceedings “have gone down relatively smooth.

“Election Day had some challenges but at the end of the day, once again I think we had a very successful operation and I am pleased to be in a position to say that the PNM has won the majority of the seats.

“We are confident that the country has been placed in good hands, we have prepared ourselves well, we expect that we will take the responsibilities of managing the affairs of all the people of Trinidad and Tobago in a way that will allow us all as a people to look at tonight …as the beginning of a new era.”

Both Persad Bissessar and Rowley easily retained the seats they had in Parliament over the past two decades.

A number of government ministers including Roger Samuels, Lincoln Douglas, attorney general Garvin Nicholas, as well as the former president of the Senate, Raziah Ahmed, were among the casualties of the poll.

The PNM was also able to regain the two seats in Tobago it lost in 2010 with  Shamfa Cudjoe winning the Tobago West and Ayanna Webster-Roy winning the Tobago East seats respectively.

Leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Austin Jack Warner, who said his party would have been a major factor in determining the new government, failed to win the Chaguanas East seat he switched to after successfully contesting the Chaguanas West seat in 2010 and 2013.

“I said win lose or draw it would be my last hurrah, “Warner said, telling reporters “it is a PNM victory and one for ILP”.

Warner said his “greatest success” had been the failure of Persad Bissessar to win the election, adding “Kamla will never see government again in our collective lives”.

PNM supporters took to the streets in celebration and Rowley said “we have taken the responsibility of offering ourselves and now we will proceed with what we outlined in our manifesto given the circumstances that have developed bearing in mind all the time that we do not govern for ourselves but we are servants of the people of Trinidad and Tobago”.

Kamla Persad Bissessar

Kamla Persad Bissessar lost to Rowley

But four days after the elections, former Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar announced plans to challenge the result in court. She claimed the entire election process was sabotaged as a result of what she described as a sudden change in the regulations.

Persad-Bissessar blamed the extended hour granted to voters in Trinidad following a heavy rainstorm as playing a key role in what she maintained was an unfair 23-18 victory for the People’s National Movement (PNM).

According to the ex PM, the People’s Partnership was comfortably ahead in the polls at 6 p.m. and the eventual result was adversely affected by “the sudden unilateral decision by the EBC” to extend hours of the poll from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“We have received reports that citizens were unable to cast their vote at certain polling stations because the officials of the EBC were themselves unaware or uncertain about the decision to extend the time of voting until 7 pm. Additionally, many citizens were unaware of this extension of time and hence did not cast their vote,” Persad-Bissessar alleged.