Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 9th 2015 Contents A5
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Prime Minister-elect Dr Keith
Rowley will be sworn in as Prime
Minister at 1.30 pm today at
Queen s Hall, Port-of-Spain, and
the Attorney General of the new
PNM government will also be
The Attorney General will be
an elected Member of Parliament,
according to signals from the
leadership on Monday.
PNM officials said three incom-
ing MPs qualify as AG since they
are attorneys --- PNM San Fer-
nando West candidate Faris Al-
Rawi (who is also PNM s PRO),
Port-of-Spain North MP Stuart
Young and Port of-Spain South
MP Marlene McDonald. The lat-
ter, PNM s deputy leader, was
Opposition Whip in the last par-
Tobago-born Rowley, the
PNM s fourth leader and T&T s
seventh Prime Minister, is expect-
ed to take the oath of office before
a large audience following Monday
night s general election victory.
Rowley, 65, returned the PNM
to Government following five
years in Opposition over 2010 to
2015 when the Peoples Partner-
ship was in office.
The PNM took 23 of T&T s 41
constituencies while the PP
Rowley met yesterday with
President Anthony Carmona at
mid- morning to discuss, among
other things, today s swearing-in
ceremony, a statement from Pres-
ident s House confirmed.
President s House also stated
that Carmona telephoned Rowley
close to midnight on Monday,
after hearing his victory speech
and the concession speech by then
PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar, to
congratulate him on his victory.
According to the statement,
Carmona told Rowley his victory
address to his supporters and by
extension to T&T was that of a
true statesman and further com-
plimented Rowley "for an address
whose motif was one of genuine
inclusivity to all, highlighting in
laudable terms service to country
and that we, the people of T&T,
President s House added: "His
Excellency shares with Prime
Minister-elect Dr Rowley, as
expressed by him during his
address, his unabiding faith in the
potential of our young people and
the need to make of them genuine
patriots of this republic."
Officials said Queen s Hall was
being used for the swearing in
since President s House was not
available, nor is the National
Academy for the Performing Arts
(NAPA) where some ceremonies
had been held. NAPA has been
closed for repairs.
Yesterday meetings were also
held by the PNM regarding
arrangements in other areas.
During the campaign, Rowley
had signalled he would have a
smaller Cabinet of possibly 18 to
20 members maximum, rather
than the PP s 30 members.
He also said Local Government
Ministry would be merged with
Finance. He said Local Govern-
ment powers would be under local
regional corporations in the Toba-
go House of Assembly model.
In an April 27 report he had
pledged major reforms, including
making the role of MP a full-time
job, creating a new post whose
office holder would monitor and
report on MPs behaviour and
strengthening oversight of gov-
Rowley had also said fewer MPs
would be in the Cabinet to form
the executive. He had said the Min-
istries of Tobago Affairs and Local
Government were not necessary.
During the PNM s Arima meet-
ing Rowley had announced Arima
candidate, now incoming MP
Anthony Garcia, would be Edu-
cation Minister in a new PNM
At another meeting he had also
hinted Mayaro candidate Clarence
Rambharath would be good in the
Rambharath had said during
the campaign he would return to
Canada if he did not win the seat.
He didn t win on Monday. Calls
to his cellphone went unanswered
yesterday. PNM sources said
Rambharath would likely be given
a position despite his defeat since
he was "an asset."
PNM officials yesterday spec-
ulated the Cabinet might com-
prise about nine or ten MPs and
other appointed people. This
could leave about 13 or so MPs
outside of the Cabinet.
Rowley also has to select 16
government senators from whom
will come a Senate President.
A House Speaker also has to
be selected since Rowley said the
Government s first priorities
would involve returning to Par-
liament --- for the first session of
the 11th Parliament --- and pre-
senting the 2016 budget.
H.H.B. & Associates managing
director Louis Bertrand said yes-
terday he felt vindicated after the
poll commissioned by Guardian
Media Limited (GML) which he
conducted was the only one which
correctly called Monday s general
election result, 23-18 in favour of
the People s National Movement.
He said he came under a fair
amount of pressure after the poll
was published in the T&T Guardian
and aired on CNC3 but was glad his
work had stood the test.
"In true Trini fashion, some people
am not a member of the PNM,"
His three polls for the T&T
Guardian showed Prime Minister-
elect Dr Keith Rowley s favourability
ratings steadily increasing in the build
up to the September 7 polls.
His last poll on the weekend cen-
tered on five marginals --- Toco/San-
gre Grande, St Joseph, Tunapuna,
San Fernando West and Lopinot/Bon
Air West --- and showed constituents
favouring the PNM.
But he said no one believed its
validity until the findings proved
true when the PNM captured all the
seats he called.
The PNM also took
Moruga/Tableland from the UNC,
which Bertrand did not call. How-
ever, Bertrand said he did not poll
Moruga/Tableland because of fund-
ing constraints. His last poll predicted
a 22/19 win for the PNM, without
Bertrand said polls commissioned
by political scientist Dr Hamid
Ghany and Dr Vishnu Bisram of
NACTA got it wrong when they pre-
dicted the PP would win the election.
Solution by Simulation s Nigel
Henry, meanwhile, predicted 18/18,
saying five of the seats were too close
to call. Bertrand dismissed that, how-
ever, saying if a poll cannot predict
marginal seats it is not a poll. He
said it did not make sense to predict
which safe seats a party would win.
As to how he managed to get it
right, he said: "It really has to do
with doing proper random sampling
and having a very good set of inter-
viewers. I have very good interview-
Bertrand said during the campaign
a newspaper article tried to make it
look as though his company was old
and outdated but noted he had been
doing polls for a long time and calling
"People would not know this
because I have been doing them for
political parties and they don t usu-
ally publish their polls," he said,
adding his company has been around
a long time and he has been actively
polling since the 1970s.
Asked what factors may have con-
tributed to the PP s loss, Bertrand
said the party "made some clear
mistakes" in its election campaign.
One of them was a massive overkill
in its advertising campaign.
"If you keep repeating an ad end-
lessly it will eventually irritate you,
no matter how good it is," he added.
Another mistake was exclusive
focus on former prime minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar at the
expense of her other candidates.
The PP s No Rowley campaign did
not work either, he said. Bertrand s
poll found only ten per cent of the
people interviewed were affected by
it. However, there was an element
of the election results political ana-
lysts should find fascinating, he said.
While his polls measured 20 per cent
going back to the PNM, the results
showed something more was at play.
"One surprise may be that there
were undecided voters in the mar-
ginals who were former UNC/PP
supporters who shifted to the PNM,"
Rowley to be sworn in today
President Anthony Carmona, left, greets Prime Minister-elect Dr
Keith Rowley during yesterday's meeting at President's House.
Rowley will be sworn in as PM this morning.
PHOTO COURTESY OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER.
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