Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 8th 2015 Contents A5
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A sombre mood hovered over
the Congress of the People s
(COP) headquarters in Char-
lieville, Chaguanas, last night as
the final results were declared,
with victory going to the Peo-
ple s National Movement (PNM).
The COP was only able to
secure one out of eight seats it
contested, with leader Prakash
Ramadhar being able to retain
his position as the Member for
Parliament for the St Augustine
Up to midnight there was a
poor turnout of supporters at
the COP camp.
The few supporters present
were either propping their heads
on chairs as they viewed the
electoral coverage on television
or were seen congregating in
small groups discussing the
Ramadhar, who was stuck in
traffic for over one hour, arrived
minutes to midnight.
After listening to the PNM
leader Dr Keith Rowley s victory
speech, Ramadhar spoke to
reporters, saying that he hoped
Rowley would be heartfelt and
true to his words.
"If he is truthful he will have
the full cooperation," Ramadhar
Explaining his statement fur-
ther, he said if Rowley was seri-
ous about ensuring healing he
would get every vote in Parlia-
ment from the Opposition for
proportional representation and
"We will respect the Govern-
ment of the day and we expect
respect in return," Ramadhar
With respect to the COP s
"electoral blow," as he described
it, Ramadhar said the COP would
continue to stand for what was
right for the people of T&T.
Advising supporters to accept the
People s National Movement s
(PNM) victory at the polls, Kamla
Persad-Bissessar last night said she
had no regrets about her journey
as T&T s first female prime min-
Persad-Bissessar delivered her
concession speech at her Siparia
constituency office last night before
scores of supporters.
Saying she was at peace with her-
self, Persad-Bissessar thanked her
loyal supporters saying she would
never stop serving the people of T&T
who placed their trust in her stew-
Asked whether she had any regrets
about her campaign strategy, Per-
sad-Bissessar responded, "No, I
don t regret the schools we built, or
the highway or the health centres
that we built for the people of T&T.
Maybe next week when we do a post
mortem we may see what went
wrong but for now I am at peace
knowing I did my best."
She added, "It was not good
enough for some people but in my
heart I know I did my best."
Persad-Bissessar said her journey
as prime minister was very reward-
ing. Calling on supporters to accept
the "people s wishes," Persad-Bisses-
sar promised that she would always
continue to serve. Thanking her sup-
porters for giving her political life
and political office, Persad-Bissessar
said her team put up a brave fight.
"For now I am happy to be citizen
Kamla and MP for Siparia. I respect
the wishes of the people and I wish
the new Government well," she said.
Hundreds of supporters who gath-
ered at Rienzi Complex left dejected
as Persad-Bissessar failed to show
up at the venue.
She explained that it was already
too late to go to the complex, adding
that there were other representatives
who addressed the people. She also
said that her victory was in Siparia
where she obtained over 14,000
Persad-Bissessar said while the
People s Partnership did not win the
majority of seats it was the preferred
choice of the majority of citizens
having obtained the majority of
Earlier, Persad-Bissessar arrived
at the constituency around 9.20 pm
but did not immediately address
supporters who gathered outside her
Siparia constituency office in Penal.
While supporters blew horns,
waved flags and danced to tassa
music, Persad-Bissessar did not
appear to be in a victorious mood.
"My first place to declare is
Siparia. We are waiting for the
results, so thank you Siparia. Victory
is ours," she said, before leaving the
podium. By 10.30 pm, when the
PNM edged forward, some of the
supporters appeared to be very wor-
ried. Many put down their flags and
horns and gazed intently at the tel-
evision screen as they anxiously
awaited incoming election results.
'I did my best'---Kamla
Prime Minister-elect Dr Keith Rowley has
pledged to engage in a campaign to make
citizens more patriotic.
This was one of the major pledges by Row-
ley during his victory speech to thousands
of party supporters at Balisier House, Port-
of-Spain, close to midnight last night.
He said the election victory marked the
culmination of a very gruelling campaign,
adding at times it was not easy but he always
held the belief that the People s National
Movement would emerge victorious.
Rowley said while he was leader of the
PNM he was now assuming the responsibility
of serving not only PNM members but all of
T&T. Unconfirmed results gave the PNM 23
seats to the PP s 18.
He said he expected to be sworn in soon
and the Cabinet should be appointed soon
afterwards. Rowley had said previously that
his Cabinet would contain no more than 17
Preparation of the country s 2016 national
budget would be one of the early items to be
addressed as the financial year ended on Sep-
tember 30, he told supporters.
Rowley has already named Arima MP and
former TTUTA president Anthony Garcia as
his Education Minister.
Among the many in the audience was world
record holder of the highest Test score, Brian
Lara, causing speculation that he might be
considered for the Sport and Youth Affairs
portfolio in Rowley s 17-member Cabinet.
Rowley was quick to remind the nation of
the serious challenges it would confront in
the months and years ahead.
"There are difficult times ahead. There is
rough water ahead but if we navigate them
successfully, there is calm water ahead," he
said to the cheering crowd.
"Rowley! Rowley! Rowley," they chanted
as he was introduced earlier as the new Prime
Minister of the country.
"We will succeed not basically on who is
in office or who won the election, but more
importantly, how we behave as a people in
treating with the challenges ahead," he said.
He said the Opposition People s Partnership
had a special role to play in the advancement
of the nation, as it was part of the govern-
mental process. He said while the UNC had
tasted defeat at the polls "and while we form
the Government you of the UNC will form
the Opposition, but we all expect you to act
as a part of the Government because your
responsibility is awesome.
"If we accept that we are all in this together,
T&T, all of us will come out of our difficulties
together," he added.
Rowley said success was also dependent
on people "at the individual level taking
responsibility for ourselves and saying that
we are our brother s keeper." He said if that
was done "nobody in this country will be
There was then celebration well into the
morning as many more supporters were seen
approaching the venue close to 1 am. There
was a very heavy, armed police presence.
PNM will get support if
they are serious---Prakash
by his wife
officials at the
Rowley ready to navigate T&T
Calmer waters could be ahead
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