T&T PM to announce election date when Parliament is dissolved

PMKamlaPersad-BissessarCPort of Spain, Trinidad (Trinidad Express) — Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has said the general election date will be announced once Parliament is dissolved on June 17.

Addressing the TV6 town meeting at the Plaza Siparia Conference Hall on Wednesday night, the Prime Minister assured that elections will not be postponed.

She said she intends to serve her full parliamentary term and that elections will be called when it is constitutionally due.

Persad-Bissessar’s response came after town meeting host Fazeer Mohammed pressed her on when she intends to announce the election date.

“Given what the Government and what you are saying is a clear vindication of the government (regarding Integrity Commission ending emailgate probe) this would appear to be the appropriate time to call the election,” Mohammed said.

The Prime Minister however stated: “Well neither you nor anyone will jumbie me for the election date.”

Asked if she may announce the date during the People’s Partnership’s fifth anniversary celebrations at Constantine Park, Macoya, on Sunday, Persad-Bissessar said:

“I assure you Sir and everyone listening, we will not postpone the date. The former Government postponed elections several times. We will not postpone or put off elections at all.

“I will stick within the law. I will keep the Parliamentary term that you elected me for in this country, which is to have a mandate of five years. That mandate will expire on June 17. I intend to serve my full parliamentary term and thereafter the constitution indicates we have three months within which for an election to be held and yes, once the Parliament is dissolved I will name the election date.”

Questioned by Mohammed on views by some that “morally” the election date should be called five years from the date of winning the last election, Persad-Bissessar noted:

“There is no ‘morally’ when it comes to when the date should be called. I don’t know who is saying that. The law is very clear and, in fact, this has happened before. In 1971 or 1976, I can’t remember the year, elections were around May and Parliament dissolved in June and elections were around September. So it has happened before in this country and hey, we were not in Government then. It was the Opposition PNM.”

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