Last update: 21-Dec-2013 9:03 pm
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Electorate: Enough song and dance
From the speeches of the leaders of parties contesting Monday’s elections after the majority of votes had been tabulated, only David Abdulah of the Movement for Social Justice seemed willing to acknowledge anything resembling defeat at the polls. Interim leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner declared his freshly minted political vehicle “the third political force.” The ILP failed to win any of the five corporations it targeted.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar declared the election “a people’s victory,” and one in which the UNC had held on to its base. Even as she uttered those words, Chaguanas was already being identified as a hung corporation. Congress of the People leader Prakash Ramadhar spoke of “the magic of democracy,” and of his party’s resilience, despite its painfully apparent inability to attract votes after fighting the UNC—its coalition partner—for the right to do so.
Triumphant in the elections, though oddly morose and subdued in celebrating that victory, was Opposition Leader Keith Rowley, who led the PNM to success in eight of the regional corporations. Dr Rowley—unlike some of his less cool-headed supporters—no doubt understood that although the PNM regained what it once considered its strongholds, it did not gain any new territory, despite its strenuous efforts to regroup and rebrand itself, and in spite of the spilt vote and the slump in popularity of the incumbent central government.
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