Voters in T&T will go to the polls on Aug. 10

Voters in Trinidad and Tobago will go to the polls on Aug. 10 for the 2020 General Election

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley made the announcement when Parliament was prorogued last Friday to make way from the 12th Trinidad and Tobago Republican Parliament. The writs for the 2020 general election were issued by President Paula Mae Weekes on July 1, 2020.

Nomination day is July 17.

There are 41 elected members of the House of Representatives, who are elected in single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post system.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley.Photo by Nelson A. King

In the 2015 general election, the PNM won a majority government with 22 of the 41 seats but with a majority of the popular vote going to the Opposition People’s (PP) coalition. A total of 65 percent of voters turned out for the 2015 general election.

The PP which won 19 seats contested the election under Kamla Persad-Bissessar, but this year she is going alone in the election. She is the political leader of the United National Congress (UNC).

She dropped 10 incumbent MPs from the UNC slate. Persad-Bissessar successfully re-elected eight MPs. The new UNC slate includes several individuals drawn from the senate, local government and the UNC party executive, among them are a number of young candidates including eight women in the 39 candidates selected.

The PNM is contesting all 41 seats — 39 in Trinidad and two in Tobago.

Some pollsters are saying the choice of candidates by the UNC for their “safe” constituencies could influence the outcome of the general election

The UNC has selected candidates in seven marginals and challengers for all People’s National Movement (PNM) ” safe” seats.

Dr. Rowley also dropped eight of his cabinet ministers in his new slate.

There are a number of other small political parties and two independents in the race.