Less than 24 hours after telling local media that the country would soon learn the date of the next general elections, Trinidad and Tobago’s prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar addressed the lower house of parliament on Friday afternoon, informing the nation that citizens will go to the polls on Monday September 7, 2015.
“We are ready to appeal to seniors in the country for support because they are the ones who say loudly that they have never had a more caring and responsive government than they did over the last five years when the fortunes in this country were enhanced considerably. Accordingly,(this government) is ready to return to the people. Mr. Speaker, general elections in Trinidad and Tobago will held on Monday, the 7th September, 2015,” she said.
The prime minister is banking on a win at the polls based on what she says is her administration’s “phenomenal” record of achievement over the past five years.
She declared, “We are ready because the vast majority of our promises to the voters of this country have been kept. We are ready today because Trinidad and Tobago is today a more just and safer community than it was five years ago. We are ready to return to the voters, because every social and economic sector of this county is today performing better than it was five years ago. We are ready to return to the people, because the young people in the country are once again confident and optimistic about their future. We are ready to return to the people because our social partners and civil society report that the government is today working and functioning far more effectively and efficiently than was the case five years ago.”
Meanwhile, leader of the main opposition People’s National Movement, Keith Rowley said his party is ready for the election, while stating that the date for it is “too late.”
“In the public’s interest this election should have been called before September 7 for more reasons than one. It would have given better preparation for the national budget and it would have minimized the exposure of the national treasury and state enterprises to the abuse that will take place for the lengthy period of time that the prime minister has now put out as an election period,” he said.
Persad-Bissessar told the house that she has advised the country’s president to dissolve parliament at midnight on Wednesday June 17, 2015.
Early polls predict a tight race between the ruling People’s Partnership and the People’s National Movement. The incumbent secured 29 of the country’s 41 seats in parliament in the May 2010 general elections.