Tag Archives: Trinidad elections

Trinidadians go to the polls after bitter and “brutish” campaign

Trinidadians go to the polls after bitter and “brutish” campaign

campaign over kamla

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday September 7, 2015 – More than a million voters are eligible to cast their ballots when polling stations open at 6 o’clock this morning, following what the chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) described as the “most brutish” campaign he had ever seen.   Continue reading

Newsletter – June 2010

Newsletter – June 2010

(click above or below to view 16-page newsletter)

Guyanese Online Newsletter -June 2010< download

In This Issue

Parliament Building - Georgetown. Guyana

Parliament Building - Georgetown. Guyana

Page 1– Masthead Picture: Parliament Buildings in Georgetown; President Jagdeo’s Independence Speech for 44th Anniversary.

Page 2-  EditorialVideos on Life and Education.

Page 3– Guest Editorial – New Models of Governance

Page 4-  Caribbean: Trinidad and Tobago Elections

Page 5– Guyana Tourism – Guyana Jamboree 2010.

Page 6—Guyana News with Headline News links

Amaila Falls Hydro Project;  RUSAL Hydro  Project Talks;   Governance links; Agriculture;  Gold and Diamond Mining Issues.

Page 7—Guyana News with Headline News Links; Golden Grove Community Centre Opens; St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Fire—News links

Page 8– Business Page with GO-Invest links

Page 9– Last Lap Lime – 15th Anniversary

Page 10- Associations: Guyanese Association of Georgia; Guyanese Association of  Barbados;

Page 11-  Associations: Guyanese association of Manitoba;Q.C. Alumni—”Fireworks in Queens”;“A Taste of Guyana” in Toronto; Friends of  Victoria Village “Creole Breakfast”; Buxton-  170th Anniversary Celebrations; The Arts Journal;  Ameena Gafoor’s column

Page 12- Arts and Culture: Tony Phillips—artist –  Website; Olga Lopes-Seale  – “Fun Run”  in Barbados;  Godfrey Chin: “The Forties in British Guiana.”

Page 13- Arts and Culture: “Reds” Perreira launches book on his life;“Come Walk With Me”  A book of  Poems by Francis Yvonne Jackson living in Chicago.

Page 14– 15- Historical:  “Glimpses of Kingston”  1948. Written by Joy W. Small in Kyk-Over-Al

Page 16– Advertising- Guyana Telephone Calling Cards;  Caribbean Cargo and Packaging Services.

Trinidad and Tobago Elections – 2010

Trinidad and Tobago Elections – May 24,2010

Kamlamania II – Stabroek staff  – May 28, 2010 – Editorial

Kamla Persad-Bissessar has created history in Trinidad and Tobago by becoming the country’s first female prime minister.

Patrick Manning has created history of a more dubious nature by becoming quite possibly the first politician to call two snap elections and lose them both. In last Monday’s election, in an astounding case of political misjudgement – Professor Selwyn Ryan prefers to call it “hubris” – Mr. Manning sacrificed another two-and-a-half years in office and converted a comfortable 11-seat parliamentary majority to a humbling 17-seat minority.

Indeed, in taking a high-stakes gamble that Mrs Persad-Bissessar and the United National Congress (UNC) – she was only elected party leader on January 24, with the vanquished founder-leader, Basdeo Panday, hovering in the background like Banquo’s ghost – would be too weak to stand up to the vaunted political machinery of the People’s National Movement (PNM), Mr Manning merely succeeded in galvanising the opposition into a broad-based and formidable coalition under Mrs. Persad-Bissessar’s charismatic leadership.

To his credit, the defeated leader of the PNM has assumed “full responsibility” for the election debacle and his political future is now in serious doubt. Mr. Manning, a born-again Christian, had said before the election that after politics, he would take up preaching. Well, the coalition and the electorate have facilitated that ambition and if Mr Manning were to be true to the inherited Westminster tradition, he should have already fallen on his sword.

Trinidadians and Tobagonians too created history with a record 70% voter turnout, and the results confirmed the overwhelming sense that the people wanted change after eight years of prime ministerial arrogance, poor governance, economic mismanagement, squandermania, corruption, a frightening escalation in violent crime and inadequate public services.

In an election which the experts said was too close to call, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar’s People’s Partnership – the coalition led by the UNC and comprising the mainly middle class, multi-racial Congress of the People (COP), the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP), the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) with its roots in the 1970 Black Power movement, and the labour-inspired Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) – confounded conservative estimates and won a landslide victory over the incumbents, polling 432,026 votes to the PNM’s 285,354. The count in terms of seats was 29 to 12, with the UNC winning 21 (including one won by MSJ leader and veteran trade unionist, Errol McLeod, and another won by businessman and civil society activist, Stephen Cadiz), the COP six and the TOP taking the two Tobago constituencies.

In the UK, the coalition between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives has promised “a new politics.” In Suriname, the result of the May 25 elections is still to be transformed into a workable solution. But that country’s tradition of coalitions has generally served to avoid the ethnic fracturing more familiar to Guyana and Trinidad where monolithic parties have tended to prevail. In Trinidad and Tobago, all eyes will now be on the People’s Partnership to judge how this coalition performs in government, how it lives up to its campaign promises and, in the eyes of the cynics, how long it survives. Indeed, many in the region will be watching to determine whether it is a functional model worthy of emulation, in which the collective good is dominant, individual egos are subsumed, party patronage and dependency become things of the past, and meritocracy, transparency, accountability and participation become the order of the day.

In her victory speech on Monday night, Mrs Persad-Bissessar was typically gracious, inviting all Trinbagonians to hold her hand in a new participatory approach to governance in which “no one will be left out.” In her swearing-in address on Wednesday, she echoed these sentiments and stated further that she would “work towards reversing the order of ‘top-down government’ to one for all the people.”

Fine words, but she and her new government will have to translate them into action. Too often in our region, the rhetoric of inclusiveness, so pronounced on the campaign trail and so high-sounding in inaugural addresses, has given way to the banalities of politics and the emptiness of promises unfulfilled.

Mrs. Persad-Bissessar is expected to have her cabinet in place by today. At the time of writing, only the new Attorney General had been named, but observers will be trying to determine the level of horse-trading that will have taken place within the coalition and the ministerial appointments should give an early indication as to how serious the new prime minister is about honouring her pledges.

In Trinidad and Tobago, a lot of hope and goodwill would appear to have been generated by Mrs. Persad-Bissessar’s victory. Perhaps it is because of her gender, perhaps it is due to her warmth, charisma and intelligence, attributes we noted in our editorial of January 29 (‘Kamlamania’) just after her election as UNC leader. In this regard, the last two sentences of that piece are worth repeating: “The next days, weeks and months promise to be fascinating for politics in Trinidad and Tobago and there will inevitably be lessons for the rest of the Caribbean. Perhaps the hype and excitement are justified after all.” At this stage, we can only wait and see.


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