Tags: Trindidad | ousted | party | ;eadership

Old Trinidad Leadership Ousted by Populist Party

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 08:06 AM

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad - A day after being elected the country's first female prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar was up early to begin the task of picking her Cabinet and preparing for her inauguration, aides said.

``Right now, she's trying to get her government up and running,'' her spokeswoman, Ingrid Ishmael, said Tuesday. ``Mrs. Persad-Bissessar is not the kind of person to get caught up in the euphoria. That's all done.''

Supporters of her ``People's Partnership'' coalition celebrated the historic election victory throughout the night. Thousands crowded around her party headquarters in central Trinidad to hear her victory speech that didn't begin until almost 1 a.m.

``The honor you've given me is without parallel,'' she said. ``I accept it with deep honor and gratitude.''

Persad-Bissessar's election was a crushing rejection of Prime Minister Patrick Manning's early election gamble. Unofficial election returns showed a large swing in favor of Persad-Bissessar's coalition, which won 29 of the 41 seats in the parliament. Manning's People's National Movement, which had controlled 26 seats, won 12.

Manning, hoping to catch the opposition off-guard, called elections just 2 ½ years into his five-year term. But voters said they wanted to send a strong message that they did not like his autocratic leadership style -- he's often referred to as a ``maximum leader'' -- and the corruption scandals that plagued his government in recent months.

Manning, appearing shocked by the results, told supporters he accepts full responsibility for the loss and hinted that his future in politics could be coming to an end.

``Tomorrow we're going to take an analysis of how things went -- why the result turned out the way it did -- contrary to our expectations,'' Manning said Monday night. ``One of the things, of course, is that I'll now have to consider my future in politics.''

Some analysts said Manning will have no choice but to resign from his leadership of the PNM, which has dominated politics here for most of the past 50 years.

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PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad - A day after being elected the country's first female prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar was up early to begin the task of picking her Cabinet and preparing for her inauguration, aides said.
Trindidad,ousted,party,;eadership
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2010-06-26
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 08:06 AM
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