Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Patrick Manning does the double

The incumbent People's National Movement (PNM) has secured a second term in office, winning 26 seats to the United National Congress' (UNC - A) 15 seats. According to Caribbean360.com, the newly formed Congress of the People (COP) - a splinter group of the UNC - was able to pick up several hundred votes which helped to split the opposition support and strengthen the hand of the PNM.

A lower than expected turnout of voters in Monday's general elections spurned the newly formed political party and opted to keep the status quo in parliament - but with a larger majority for the PNM.

Leader of the PNM, Patrick Manning, called on all Trinidadians to put their political differences aside and join his government towards a goal of a fully developed Trinidad and Tobago.

"Let me reiterate that in supporting the PNM in this general election you have made no mistake," Manning told a sea of supporters around midnight on Monday.

The prime minister, who aspires to become a preacher after politics, credited God for the electoral victory.

"This is God's victory and we give him thanks and praise for it," he said as he urged the multi-racial society to unite and "dwell together in harmony".

Basdeo Panday of the UNC, who lost his Couva North seat after being convicted for beaching the integrity laws, has won the seat and will return to Parliament.

Click here for all the details and statistics from yesterday's elections in Trinidad.

Boy, what a campaign: mudslinging and accusations, lawsuits, Manning bringing nearly a completely new slate of candidates, Sizzla and Beenie, Winston Dookeran and COP....it was like an episode of the Trini soap opera Westwood Park.

Panday should count his blessings that the UNC-A won 15 seats, including his and Jack Warner's, instead of attacking Dookeran in a case of sour grapes. I'm glad Kamla Persad-Bissessar won hers as well, after being rejected as UNC-A party leader in favour of Jack Warner and Basdeo Panday.

And Manning, well, Patos is either a boss or the luckiest politician alive. How many party leaders you know can bring 32 new candidates out of a slate of 41 and not only win an election, but capture six more seats than they had before? Poor Dooks. So much for the polls, 'cause he didn't even win his own seat. Better luck next time.

Well, the election train should be pulling into Barbados soon. PM Arthur must be breathing a little easier this morning....

Photo: Patrick Manning, greeting supporters after winning his second term in office. (Trinidad Guardian)

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