The major business chambers of T&T, in hailing the victory Kamla Persad-Bissessar as Prime Minister elect, have pledged their support to working with her government, especially regarding such platform issues as crime, corruption and transparency.
One such commitment came from the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The chamber, which is led by two women, president Angella Persad and chief executive officer Catherine Kumar, yesterday issued a statement saying, "The chamber affirs its commitment to working with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the new government, as they now turn their attention towards resolving the various business challenges of the day." The chamber, noting the "very keen and spirited campaigns" all the parties fought over the past five weeks, said, "The people have spoken and this clearly demonstrates that the democratic process and power of the people are alive and well." The business body congratulated the electorate for its heightened interest in Monday's election, which saw an increase in registered voters to more than a million. "The voter turnout, as reported by the media, was also quite impressive at 70 per cent, much higher than seen in recent elections.
Like former prime minister Patrick Manning, during his concession speech at Balisier House on Monday night, the chamber noted that youth voters were more involved in this election than previous ones. The Employers' Consultative Association (ECA), in its statement, said, "Recognising that the pre-election period was hard-fought, with many issues of national importance at the forefront, we wish the People's Partnership a successful and productive term of office." "It is our view that now is the time to prove that the people's choice was well placed and that promises will give way to prudent implementation, for the benefit of all the citizens of T&T," the ECA stated. The ECA said it would be willing to offer all its membership resources to assist in the development of T&T.
The Penal/Debe Chamber noted the maturity of the electorate in its conduct during the election. The south-based chamber, offered special congratulations to Persad-Bissessar, who is a product of Penal/Debe. "Now that the election is over, we look forward to the implementation of urgent measures to address some of the issues of the manifesto of the People's Partnership," its statement read. On top of the Penal/Debe Chamber's list of critical issues is alleviating the burden of crime.
Second item is that the combined issue of transparency, accountability and morality in public affairs, which the chamber said it wants to see addressed "not by tokenism, but by meaningful action." "One plank of the election of this government has been that of corruption, and one appreciates that these matters cannot be addressed iin weeks, but Penal/Debe wants these issues to be on the front burner of our government's agenda," the statement read.