Trinidad-Tobago’s ruling party loses ground in local government elections

Keith Rowley

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The  Opposition United National Congress (UNC) won three of five local government by-elections last week, wresting the Arima Central seat from the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM).

The upset in the Arima Central district saw UNC candidate Sheldon Garcia emerging victorious over Dr. Juliet Henry Bernard of the PNM.

The UNC also won seats in the Cunupia and Hindustan/St Mary’s districts which it held before the polls.

The PNM, meantime, retained two of the seats it previously held – Alyce Glen/Morne Coco and Hollywood.

The PNM’s deputy leader, Fitzgerald Hinds, was disappointed, but said: “in this business of electoral politics, you win some, you lose some.

“We’ve been there before. What we do after is a post-mortem to see our strengths and soft spots and use our experience to examine things whether it means rearranging people or policy.”

“We have been in opposition before and we have worked ourselves out of opposition back to the government,” Hinds added.

The PNM  also lost ground last week in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections  which ended in a 6-6 tie with the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP).

The PNM  held 10 seats in the previous term while the PDP had just two.