Voters in Trinidad were casting their ballots in a Local Government Election (LGE) on Monday that political observers say could act as a barometer ahead of the general elections that could take place within the next eight months.
Both the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) and the main opposition United National Congress (UNC) are contesting the 139 electoral districts across Trinidad’s 14 municipal corporation electoral areas.
The fringe political parties, such as the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) and the recently formed Port of Spain People’s Movement (PPM) headed by former mayor, Louis Lee Sing, are fielding candidates in some constituencies hoping to emerge as “king players” in the event of a tie for control of some of the corporations.
The PNM has controlled the majority of the corporations, and the two major parties have gone all out in a bid to secure victory this time around, mounting lavish platforms, sleek radio and television advertisements and appearances by the so-called “heavy weights” of the parties.
The PNM has been campaigning under the theme ‘Getting it done’ while the UNC refers to its campaign as ‘WorkNation’.
The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) issued a statement urging political parties, candidates, electors and all other democratic stakeholders to respect the laws or face the consequences, adding “ignorance of the law is not an excuse”.
The EBC said that a total of 1,079,000 persons are eligible to vote in the election.