En medio de la pandemia, finalizaron las elecciones en Trinidad y Tobago

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Más de 1,1 millones de personas acuden a las urnas en Trinidad y Tobago

Más de 1,1 millones de personas están convocadas a las urnas este lunes 10 de agosto en Trinidad y Tobago para elegir nuevo Gobierno para los próximos 5 años en la conocida como república de las islas gemelas, un país rico en petróleo que se independizó del Reino Unido en 1962.

Las filas ya se podían observar mucho antes de que abrieran los colegios electorales para los comicios, de los que no se esperan los resultados hasta primera hora del martes y en los que algunos ciudadanos optaron por el voto adelantado para evitar esperas, en especial en Puerto España, la capital y núcleo más poblado de este territorio parte de la Comunidad del Caribe (Caricom).

Un total de 19 partidos políticos participan en las elecciones de este lunes que, según los analistas se disputarán de forma ajustada el gobernante Movimiento Nacional Popular (PNM) del actual primer ministro, Keith Rowley, y el opositor Congreso Nacional Unido (UNC), de la ex primera ministra Kamla Persad-Bissessar, que luchan por 41 escaños.

En las elecciones generales de 2015, el PNM ganó 23 de los escaños y el resto fue para la UNC y el Congreso del Pueblo (COP), este último formando parte del entonces de la Asociación Popular en la que la UNC era la principal formación.

La Comisión de Elecciones y Límites (EBC, en inglés) dijo que un total de 1.134.136 personas podrán ejercer el derecho al voto en las 2.200 mesas que abrieron a las 6.00 hora local (10.00 GMT) y que cerrarán 12 horas después.

Entre los candidatos además se encuentra el exvicepresidente de la Federación Internacional de Fútbol (Fifa) Austin “Jack” Warner, único aspirante del Partido Liberal Independiente (ILP) y quien es solicitado en extradición por Estados Unidos por cargos de crimen organizado y conspiración como parte de una trama de corrupción.

Los dos partidos principales han publicado manifiestos que describen sus planes para los próximos cinco años si reciben el apoyo del electorado y en los que destaca el tema económico.

En ese sentido, el gobernante PNM asegura que alentará la diversificación económica, lejos del petróleo y el gas, especialmente en agricultura, manufactura, construcción, turismo, industria no petrolera, artes y cultura.

Rowley cree que el futuro también está en la economía digital y, según su manifiesto, una nueva Administración del PNM establecería un Ministerio de Tecnología y Registros Digitales y eliminaría los impuestos de las compras de computadoras.

Por su parte, el opositor UNC se comprometió a crear 50.000 nuevos puestos de trabajo, trabajar con el Banco Central, el Ministerio de Hacienda y la Oficina Central de Estadística para determinar la verdadera condición de la economía, las finanzas públicas del país y los proyectos de capital.

Protocolos de voto por pandemia

La campaña fue inusual, ya que los partidos políticos debían tomar en consideración los protocolos implementados aquí para evitar la propagación del COVID-19 que ha infectado ya a 279 personas y ha matado a otras ocho en Trinidad y Tobago desde el prime caso detectado en marzo.

La Comisión de Elecciones ha establecido que los votantes deben usar mascarillas, respetar el distanciamiento social de 1,83 metros y desinfectar antes y después de ingresar a la mesa de votación.

El pronóstico del tiempo predice lluvias intermitentes para la jornada de este lunes en Trinidad y Tobago.

En las elecciones generales de 2015, la Comisión de Elecciones amplió en una hora el plazo de votación para acoger a las personas afectadas por las fuertes lluvias, situación que había sido considerada ilegal por el Tribunal Superior.

Además, a las elecciones no se presentaron organismos regionales o internacionales como observadores después de que se les indicara que debían pasar un período de cuarentena de 14 días.

Los cierres de las fronteras han presentado otro problema, ya que los partidos de oposición afirman que el Gobierno lo ha utilizado para evitar que los ciudadanos regresen a sus hogares para votar.

Efecto Cocuyo


Dr Rowley: Don’t come to Balisier House, prevent COVID-19 spread

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said in contrast to the 2015 general election, due to COVID-19 there will be no large gatherings at the Balisier House in Port of Spain this year.

Speaking with reporters after casting his vote on Election Day at the International School in Westmoorings, Dr Rowley said that this year’s general election will be different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was responding to questions on his plans later this evening.

‘We are encouraging people not to come to Balisier House for two reasons, one, we don’t have any space in the yard, it’s a construction site, and two, we don’t want a good election campaign to be spoiled by congregation and the spread of the virus tonight, so we’re asking people to celebrate in small groups, whether it’s at home or at a friend’s house.’

The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) said health and safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Voters are urged to wear masks, sanitise their hands and maintain at least six feet of distance from others when going to cast their votes.

Loop


T&T Elections: Persad Bissessar disappointed at absence of int’l observers

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar cast her vote in the general election here today, expressing disappointment that international election observers were not able to be present to monitor the polls.

“It is very unfortunate that we did not have international observers but I call upon all our nationals to be national observers and I think it is working well so far,” said Persad Bissessar, who is leading the main opposition United National Congress (UNC) into the election.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had said that invitations had been sent to the Commonwealth and the 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom) to send observers but that they would have had to arrive here in time to undergo the 14-day quarantine period.

He said that the regional and international observers had indicated that the venture would be too expensive and that his administration had decided against providing assistance for fear of it being regarded as trying to influence the observers in their duties.

Persad Bissessar, the first woman to serve as head of a government here, said that her party’s machinery had been working well and was confident of reversing the 2015 defeat her People’s Partnership administration suffered at the hands of the Rowley-led People’s National Movement (PNM).

“I spent the whole morning making it happen and it looks good,’ she told reporters, saying that she had been informed that voting is moving ahead smoothly.

“In fact, my feedback is that the voter turnout is very good across the country. However, in some stations they are saying very slow. Earlier today the feedback I was getting is that the turnout is very high and some people were turning back because of long lines. I just urge everyone to…cast your vote,” said Persad Bissessar, who has been the parliamentary representative for southern town of Siparia since 1995.

I News Guyana


Burris proud of election campaign

Win or lose in Monday’s general election, Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) Tobago West candidate Tashia Grace Burris is proud of the campaign she ran as a first-timer in the election race.

After voting at the Montgomery Government Primary School at 3pm, Burris told reporters: “I am proud of the fact that I ran the best race I think I could have ran.”

She said her campaign, although heated at times, was based on issues.

“Yes, there was a lot of fire. Yes, there was a lot of emotion. But that emotion comes from the fact that I really, truly believe that this is time that Tobago needs change and that I am a person who can assist in bringing that change and my passion has always been about getting the best for my Tobago people.”

Burris added the campaign was gruelling.

“We didn’t have the kind of time that we would have looked forward to. It was really 38 days to campaign and being a newcomer, even though I was launched in January, we had that downtime with respect to covid19.

“So that when the election was called, we had a very short space of time for persons to actually get familiar with me and familiar with what I stand for.”

She said despite the short campaign, the PDP did its best.

“We did our best with the platforms we used, social media, the TV ads and the support has been overwhelming.”

She added: “Everywhere that I have gone, I have gotten support, prayers, people have been sending me pictures of their voting finger. Those kinds of experiences certainly gloss over some of the more unsavoury parts of the campaign. I am just glad that the day has come.”

Burris said she heard of a few irregularities.

“I have been informed of one or two but because we have such a committed and trained team, they were able to deal with it in my absence.

“So, I am happy for that. I hope those irregularities were just like one in a very rare occurrence and nothing that occurred across the constituency. It remains to be seen.

“But I have all faith that the EBC conducts its affairs in an independent manner and I am assured that at the end of this day that whoever the victor is, it will be a victory that is well fought and it is a fair victory.”

The candidate also praised the Elections and Boundaries Commission for its handling of the election.

“I find the procedures the EBC has implemented have been excellent in terms of the procedures that they are using to ensure that persons follow the covid19 regulations.”

News Day


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