PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley Monday night said his ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) has won the general elections.
Rowley said that the PNM had won 22 of the 41 seats at stake in the elections while the main opposition, the United National Congress, led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar, won 19 seats.
“It was a hard election, in the end, we prevailed. Our platform has won and we have a mandate to do what we say we going to do,” said Rowley.
He also stated that this could easily be his last term in politics. “I have places to go and people to see. I have a commitment to ensure that this is a period of transition in the PNM. I have a duty and responsibility during this term to ensure young people are developed to take over.”
The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has so far not made any preliminary or official announcement of the elections.
But Persad-Bissessar said she is not conceding the election. There will be recounts in three seats: St Joseph, San Fernando West and La Horquetta/Talparo.
“Tonight I am not giving any concessionary speech. I am not conceding,” she said, speaking to supporters at her Siparia constituency office.
“Our candidates in several of the marginals are in the process of filing for recounts, because the numbers are so close the recounts can be done. Only then can we concede or claim victory. So that’s the way forward for us.
“Thank you very much. Go brave. We fought a good fight. We did the best. And of course, we will continue to do our best for our country and our constituents.”
In the meantime, Phillip Edward Alexander has stepped down as leader of the Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP), keeping his promise that election day would send him either to Parliament or out of politics.
Alexander, however, said his party’s campaign had left TT a better place.
“The biggest positives are that people are talking issues now more than bacchanal. Hopefully we have planted some good seeds.
“The fact we were able to field 28 such powerful and beautiful candidates says a lot, that there are people who want a lot more than just politics for personal gain. That’s a good thing.”
Personally, he said, “I feel like I’ve let down a lot of people who wanted change. I put everything into this. I held nothing back. I was hoping to be the person who precipitated and the process of moving us away from the race-voting that has trapped so many in squalid poverty. I, for all intents and purposes, failed at it.
He said that the party will regroup “and look at it and see what else could be done.”