Prime Minister-elect Dr Keith Rowley has assured the people of Trinidad and Tobago that his People’s National Movement (PNM) will bring new leadership to the twin-island republic.
Dr Keith Rowley addressing supporters at PNM headquarters
Declaring that he was the Prime Minister for all of Trinidad and Tobago, Rowley told exuberant supporters who formed a sea of red at Balisier House, that the party was ready to move forward in unity to tackle the challenges ahead.
“…As prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago…I will not be the prime minister of the PNM, I am the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago”.
Rowley, who ousted the one-term coalition People’s Partnership government led by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar taking 23 of the 41 seats at stake, said he was “humbled” by the results.
He signalled that the party was ready to get down to business, warning that difficult times were ahead for the new administration.
PNM celebrations at Baliser House
“These are not the time of milk and honey, there are difficult times ahead,” he said, adding that Trinidad and Tobago was still strong and would emerge better off.
“We have a fair amount of resources, we have a resilient people, particularly a large body of young people who are looking for a future from our country.
“We will succeed not basically on who is in office or who won the election, but more importantly how we behave as a people in treating with the challenges ahead,” he added
For her part, Persad-Bissessar admitted disappointment after her party mustered only 18 seats, failing to secure a second term.
Leader of the People’s Partnership Kamla Persad- Bissessar conceding defeat
She however served notice that the coalition, which had performed well in office, would represent the interest of the people of Trinidad and Tobago in Opposition.
“Of course we would be disappointed with the results but we must respect the democratic process and I wish everyone in our country the best wishes I can give for a better tomorrow and a better future.
“We will have a very strong membership in the House and we will continue to work for you and to serve to serve you. I thank you very much and I ask you to respect the wishes of the people, the majority of the people in Trinidad and Tobago,” she said.