The People’s National Movement (PNM) is confident it will be able to make a significant sweep at the polls in the August 10 general election.
Although he declined to say if the party has conducted any internal polls from which they have drawn that conclusion, the PNM’s political leader said they were aiming to secure all 41 electoral seats, as opposed to the 23 they had secured during the 2015 general election.
Speaking with reporters following the formal opening of the Bagatelle Community Centre, Diego Martin yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley joked, “The PNM’s polls are only for the PNM.”
However, he went on to express confidence, not just in the party’s ability to win the upcoming election, but also in the abilities and capabilities of the citizenry to make the right choice.
He said, “I have confidence in the people of Trinidad and Tobago. Our system is that not everyone would agree with everything you have done but I think the vast majority of people in the country would acknowledge that we have governed this country in a very difficult period and that we have governed it well, and we have made the most of what was available to us, and that we have done so in the interest of the wider national population.”
Anticipating their victory on August 10, Rowley admitted while the party had made some changes to its slate of candidates as was expected, the PNM had put forth, “quite an interesting and effective mix”.
“We have got experience, we have got some youth, we have got a fair amount of women, we have got a fair amount of young men, and together we provide the country with a body of people in whom the country can place its trust.”
Rowley advised, “We are not a kindergarten class.”
Pressed to say if the party had concerns regarding the allegations of domestic violence that had surfaced online against its Moruga/Tableland candidate Winston “Gypsy” Peters, Rowley dismissed the unsubstantiated claims as he said, “I don’t take my information from social media.”
“Social media is great technology and it represents the best and the worst…even matters concerning me or the Government, when it comes from social media, I check it first before I absorb it so I am not going to refer to anything on social media about anybody.”
Asked to provide an update regarding the invitation that has been extended to regional and international representatives for election observers to come to T&T for the election, Rowley said, “There is no feedback to be had just yet.”
He reiterated, “We have made the request to the Commonwealth Secretariat and we have made the request to the Caricom Secretariat and I expect an answer will come to us soon. As long as they are able to put personnel in, the door is open.”
However, Rowley cautioned, “But the personnel must get here by Friday (July 23), once they can get in then and go through the quarantine period to be able to come before the election to monitor the preparations and the actual polling day, then that would be fine. If the personnel that are earmarked by the agencies, if they can’t get here by that date, then I am afraid if they come…then they will have to go into quarantine and do their monitoring from in the quarantine if that is possible.”