By Caribbean News Global contributor
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced Friday, July 3 that general elections will be held on August 10, 2020.
“I have asked president Paula-Mae Weekes to dissolve parliament at midnight … and nomination day would be July 17,” Dr Rowley said in parliament.
People’s National Movement (PNM) Tobago Council chairman Stanford Callender remarked that “the prime minister said it was going to be a sprint but it is really a 100 metres dash. No time to wiggle. He just gave what is required by law.”
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Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the United National Congress (UNC) is ready. “Our troops have been on the ground for quite a while now … I predicted, in our strategy meetings, it would be some time in August. We will present a full slate of candidates on Sunday, for the five-weeks of campaigning. I’m very happy a date has been named. I think the country is just waiting to exhale. We have had five years of brutality, five years of neglect, five years of suffering and especially within the last year I think it has become bad. Let the people decide,” she said.
Opening of the border to facilitate citizens the opportunity to express their democratic rights and freedom on polling day is high on the agenda. “There are many thousands of people out there who will be disenfranchised if they aren’t allowed to enter Trinidad and Tobago,” the opposition leader said.
There are concerns about the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) and COVID-19 protocols. Opposition leader Bissessar has called on the government to ensure accordance with the rule of law and to give a semblance of fair elections.
Matters of national security is high on the list of concerns, albeit, last Tuesday, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) assure the public that the well-orchestrated plan to destabilize the country by a few has been quelled.
Opposition leader Bissessar reiterated that the PNC has nothing new to campaign on. There have not preserved lives and livelihoods and implement plans that would mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.
“The UNC is aware that navigating our country out of the danger presented by COVID-19 will be difficult, but it requires innovative thinking and political will. We have presented our plan for economic stabilization and job creation post-COVID-19, and we encourage everyone to review the policies and programmes at http://uncplan2020.com/. The UNC is confident of victory in the August 10, 2020, general elections,” she said.