Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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PM awaiting official word on elections results
Despite the People’s National Movement (PNM) capturing eight of the 14 regional corporations contested on Monday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says she is pleased by the UNC’s performance at the polls. Persad-Bissessar was speaking at the launch of the new Highway Patrol Unit at the Police Training Academy, St James, yesterday. Saying there was “great enthusiasm” from all quarters during the elections, Persad-Bissessar said this was a tribute that democracy was very much alive in the country.
“For the first time we are seeing now the voices of minorities would be represented on corporations because of the legislation we have passed on the appointment of aldermen,” Persad-Bissessar said. She said midterm was always a very difficult time for any government but she was confident the People’s Partnership Government would continue to gain momentum as the 2015 general election approaches.
On conflicting results from the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), Persad-Bissessar said she has yet to receive official results. “Each day we are getting different numbers. I would not want to comment until I have those official numbers. “There was one point where it was being reported in the media that the Siparia corporation was a hung corporation and today (yesterday) it is being reported it is not a hung corporation, all because we do not have the final EBC numbers.”
The elections saw the highest turnout ever in a local government poll, as preliminary EBC figures showed on Friday. Rather than being the lowest turnout ever, as was earlier reported, the EBC said this was the opposite, as 43.2 per cent, which represented 447,083 people, voted. On comments by interim leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner, who said proportional representation (PR) had backfired on the Government following the election results, Persad-Bissessar was adamant this was not the case.
“If anything has backfired on a government, that has. They thought they would have caught us (the ILP) flatfooted bringing PR at the 11th hour, at the last minute. PR has now come back to haunt them in a way unimaginable,” Warner said. Persad-Bissessar, however, maintained that proportional representation was a success. “Indeed, it has gone exactly as we had envisaged it. It has worked. I think it is a very democratic way of representation.
“No, it did not backfire. In fact, in the debate we did show how this could happen and in areas, for example, where the PNM would never have gotten an alderman, for example, they would be getting one. So it has worked wonderfully well. I have not seen anything in it that is contrary to true democratic process,” Persad-Bissessar said.
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