Tight race expected in Trinidad and Tobago general election

16:14, May 24, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

About one million people in Trinidad and Tobago are ready to vote on Monday to choose their new prime minister, with a tight race expected between current Prime Minister Patrick Manning and the opposition candidate.

According to the Electoral Board Commission (EBC), some 1,040,011 citizens out of a total population of 1.3 million were registered to vote in the election, which will also produce 41 members of the parliament.

Manning called the snap election in April after his government was challenged with a non-confidence vote by the opposition on corruption charges midway through its five-year term.

One of the Caribbean's most enduring political figures, Manning's bid for the fourth term now looks unpredictable.

He and his National People's Movement (PNM), which has dominated politics for half a century, faces a tough battle against a five-party coalition, led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar of the main opposition United National Congress (UNC).

Persad-Bissessar is hoping to become the Caribbean nation's first female prime minister, backed also by four other coalition parties.

Opinion polls suggest the two are having a close race in the vote for a simple majority of seats in the 41-member parliament. The PMN now holds 26 seats and the UNC has the remaining 15.

A few hours before the vote takes place, streets of the capital city Port of Spain had flowing traffic, with shops opening as usual and some sports centers having soccer matches going on.

Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean composed of two main islands, covering an area of 5,128 square km. A former British colony, the country obtained independence in 1962.

Its multi-ethnic population is mainly divided along two political lines, with Manning and his PNM drawing support from Afro-Trinidadians and the UNC relying on Indo-Trinidadian backing.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • A visitor has flying experience in the windmill castle of Jinshitan National Holiday resort in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 27, 2011. The castle is a 23-meter-high building with 21 meters in diameter. The castle uses wind tunnel to make objects floating in the air. It is the first indoor stadium in China, which enables people to have flying experience. (Xinhua/Zhang Chunlei)
  • An Indian artist colours clay idols of Goddess Durga for the upcoming Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, capital of eastern Indian state West Bengal on Sept. 27, 2011. The festival celebrates the homecoming of Mother Goddess Durga and the victory of good over evil, dramatized by the goddess' demolition of the evil buffalo demon, Mahishasura. (Xinhua/Tumpa Mondal)
  • A model presents a creation of new upcoming designer Sergei Grinko at the Milan Fashion Week Women's Wear Spring/Summer 2012 in Milan, northern Italy, Sept. 27, 2011. The Milan fashion week closed on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Wang Qingqin)
  • Yu Guangyao (2nd R), president of Shanghai Shentong Metro Co., Ltd, bows his apology at a press conference on the subway trains collision accident happened Tuesday afternoon, in east China's Shanghai Municipality, Sept. 27, 2011. By 8:30 p.m. (1230 GMT) Tuesday, a total of 271 injured people in the accident have received medical treatment in hospitals, among them 180 have been dispatched. Other 61 injured people are still in hospital, in which 30 are under emergency observations. No critical injuries have been reported. (Xinhua/Chen Fei)
  • Children visit the Confucian temple in Tainan, southeast China's Taiwan, Sept. 27, 2011. A ceremony will be held at the temple to commemorate Confucius (551-479 BC) on Sept. 28, the birthday of the ancient Chinese thinker and educationist and the annual Teacher's Day of Taiwan in honor of him. (Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)
  • Fourth-grader Ma Lianghai (left) and third-grader Ma Linxiang are engrossed in their work during art class at Zhaojia Elementary School in Dongxiang, Gansu province, on Sept 18. (Photo by Xu Jingxing/China Daily)
Hot Forum Discussion