"A sign of a victory to come."
This was how Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar described the results of the Local Government Elections last night.
Addressing exuberant supporters at the party's headquarters in Couva after the results were confirmed, save the disputed Sangre Grande Regional Corporation where a recount was ordered in a four-four tie, Persad-Bissessar said the electorate had sent a message to the People's National Movement (PNM) Government.
"I had asked the people to send a message to the Rowley Government that there was too much pain and suffering and it is time for a change," she said.
"The people heard and sent the message to the Rowley Government and we trust that the Rowley Government will receive that message and take the necessary steps to ease the pain and suffering."
She said the United National Congress had managed to wrest away a dozen seats from the PNM in the election and promised to continue to look out for the needs of the "small man."
"I pledge to continue to hold the Rowley Government to account and as we celebrate, remember this is a sign of a victory to come," she told jubilant supporters.
Earlier, although the camp was almost deserted until 9 pm, party supporters flocked to the venue when there was news of a possible victory, as party executive members had previously announced victory in Sangre Grande, and Persad-Bissessar's imminent arrival was announced.
However, later on when it became clear there was no victory, supporters still celebrated over the inroads they had managed to make from the previous eight-six loss in the 2013 race.
2010 LGE RESULT (11-3)
UNC/PP: Arima; Chaguanas; Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo; Diego Martin; Mayaro/Rio Claro; Penal/Debe; Moruga/Princes Town; San Fernando; Sangre Grande; Siparia and Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation.
PNM: Port-of-Spain, Point Fortin and San Juan/Laventille.
2013 LGE RESULT (8-6)
PNM: Arima; Diego Martin; Port-of-Spain; Point Fortin; San Fernando; San Juan/Laventille; Sangre Grande; Tunapuna/Piarco.
UNC/PP: Chaguanas; Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo; Moruga/Princes Town; Siparia; Penal/Debe and Mayaro/Rio Claro.
KAMLA'S SUCCESSES AND FAILURES
Kamla Persad-Bissessar was elected leader of the UNC in January 2010. The party under her leadership, along with its partnership allies, went on to win the General Election in May 2010 and the Local Government election in July 2010.
By 2013, the party was on a losing streak.
Under Persad-Bissessar's leadership, the UNC-Partnership lost the 2013 Local Government election, the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election, Chaguanas West by-election, St Joseph by-election and the September 7, 2015, General Election. (PNM 23, UNC/COP 18)
In 2015, Persad-Bissessar staved off a challenge for leadership of the UNC from a man whom she once identified as her successor, Dr Roodal Moonilal