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  • The 139 seats are mainly contested by the United Nations Congress and the People's National Movement.

    The 139 seats are mainly contested by the United Nations Congress and the People's National Movement. | Photo: teleSUR

Published 2 December 2019

Today's election has the goal of choosing 139 councilmen to serve in the 14 municipal corporations in Trinidad and Tobago.

Trinidad and Tobago celebrated this Monday its elections for local government where early results in the municipalities of Couva, Tabaquite and Talparo gave a strong advantage to the United Nations Congress (UNC).

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With the participation of approximately 339 candidates, 25 more than in the 2016 elections, the goal of the day is to elect 139 councilmen to serve in the 14 municipal corporations in Trinidad and Tobago.

Likewise, the 139 seats were mainly contested by the United Nations Congress (UNC) and the People's National Movement (PNM), with others such as the Movement for Social Justice, the People's Congress, the Popular Movement of Port of Spain participating.

This time, there will be two more seats to dispute from the last election and according to last-minute polls, the two main parties, PNM and UNC,  lead voter intention.

The higher level of aggressiveness ocurred in these local elections as they are being held just nine months before the 2020 general election, so they are considered a precursor to next year's result. Whoever wins this round will get a big push forward.

Political observers will also view today's results as a referendum on the management of Keith Rowley's government, in contrast to the actions of opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who face each other in their third local election as leaders of their respective parties.

For many, this election would indicate whether Persad-Bissessar can reverse the losing streak that began with the Tobago Legislative Assembly election in January 2013, although, in the 2016 elections, the UNC, under her leadership, maintained its position by winning six of the 14 municipal corporations against eight of the PNM.

Any further losses today could raise new questions about her leadership.

Nevertheless, if the PNM suffers a notable loss, it may indicate that the difficulties faced by the population due to the recession of the economy and the government's fiscal programs have caused a slump in the popularity of the current Prime Minister.

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