PM reveals election date at last
Juhel Browne firstname.lastname@example.org
Prime Minister Patrick Manning says he did not intend to cause any insult to the Hindu community when he announced yesterday that the general election would be held on November 5, just five days before the Divali public holiday.
Election Day is being held during the fasting period that is part of the lead up to the Hindu religious festival .
Acting on Manning's advice, President George Maxwell Richards ordered that the Parliament be dissolved at midnight last night, in accordance with the Constitution, which officially cleared the way for the long-awaited announcement of the date of the general election.
As the nation waited yesterday to see whether Manning would finally call the election date or wait to do so at a later date, he rose to his feet at around 2 .25 pm in the Parliament Chamber and put an end to the long-standing speculation.
"Mr Speaker, I would just like to state for the benefit of our honourable members and the national community, that I have today advised the President to dissolve Parliament with effect from midnight tonight. general elections will be held in Trinidad and Tobago on Monday, November the fifth, and Nomination Day is Monday, October 22," Manning said.
Soon after he left the Parliament Chamber and returned just before the entire Parliament was adjourned "sine die" at 2.55 pm by House Speaker Barendra Sinanan which confirmed the Parliament's dissolution.
Manning later told reporters that his decision for November 5 was not made as a reaction to any existing political issues in the country or his party.
"That date incidentally had been determined a long time ago. Long time ago. I was working towards, well, in accordance with a schedule and that date was not a date that is just so but that date had been determined a long time ago," Manning said.
Asked why he had not announced the date for the general election sooner since he had made his decision on it "a long time ago", Manning said the law give him as Prime Minister 'a minimum of 35 days" requisite notice to the Elections and Boundaries Commission.
"And I made the announcement on the last opportunity that I had to do it in the Parliament," he added.
He later told reporters after the dissolution of the Parliament that the decision on the election date was not meant to be affront to the Hindu community.
"No. No. By no means. That was never the intention. There are some who felt that it shouldn't be held on Divali Day, it would be all right to be held at the time when the fasting is on," Manning said.
He indicated that others did not support that view as he said there were "different views on the matter" but asserted he did not believe the election date would turn off any supporters the PNM may have within the Hindu community.
The Parliament was scheduled to be prorogued by midnight yesterday as this marked the end of the 12 month term of its Fifth Session but the deadline for the dissolution was midnight October 16.
The Eighth Parliament began sittings on October 17, 2002 and the general election was constitutionally due this year as it marked the fifth year it had been in operation.
It aint ha no nigga that could lie like this fockin one.
I know he woulda fockin announce the date somewhere inside the Divali season. Manning is advised by fockin people who have they disgust for Hindu people. They no when it comes to Hindu celebrations and periods of spirituality that Hindu people doh make joke. They fock well know that religion is most important to Hindus and as such they will be distracted for elections.
I hope that all the brothers and sisters take note of this fockin sinister move by the PM and vote all dem fockin niggas out in this election.
And fockin pretty please. Fock Dookeran to the cross, we doh want to see he after this election.