NEWS AMERICAS, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Aug. 10, 2020: Trinidad and Tobago’s opposition leader, Kamla Persad-Bisessar, of the United National Congress, (UNC) has called for a peaceful elections in the twin-island Republic today, even as a former UNC councillor recovers from a weekend stabbing.
Just two days before the general election, on Saturday night, former councillor for the United National Congress, Phillip Gonzales, 58, was stabbed at Basse Terre Village, Moruga after an argument during a motorcade by the political party, the last of the major campaigning efforts for the general election today.
Gonzales was a local government councillor in Moruga, which lies on the central south coast of Trinidad at the western end of the Trinity Hills. It is in Victoria County, Trinidad and Tobago.
A police report said that Gonzales, who lives at Basseterre, was in a maxi-taxi parked at the side of the road when a man entered the vehicle. There was an altercation and the former councillor told the man to leave the vehicle.
Moments later, the man stabbed Gonzales several times then fled. The attacker then ran out of the maxi and escaped. Gonzales was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital for treatment.
He was last night said to be resting in a stable condition. That matter is still under investigation and no one has been arrested although the attacker was captured beating the man in a cell phone recording which was uploaded to social media where it quickly went viral.
Last night, Persad-Bissessar posted to Facebook: “My prayer for our beloved country is that tomorrow’s elections will be fair and peaceful.”
A total of 1,134,136 are eligible to cast their votes in today’s general elections in Trinidad and Tobago to determine a new government for the next five years.
Polls will open at 6 a.m. this morning at 2,210 polling stations in 41 constituencies even as a polls. Analysts predict a close race between the incumbent People’s National Movement, (PNM), and the main opposition party, United National Congress, (UNC), even though 19 parties are contesting the election.
It will be the first parliamentary election where a major Tobagonian party, The Tobago Council of the PNM, and two of the three largest parties elected in 2015, the UNC and the COP, are led by women.
The latest opinion poll from the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) has found a very close race in several seats deemed marginals including St Joseph, Moruga/Tableland and La Horquetta/Talparo.
NACTA described the current state of play as an election cliffhanger. “The latest findings reveal very close contests in several of the marginals that will determine the outcome.” It said there are ten marginals or closely fought seats in Trinidad, plus one in Tobago.
This as a Guardian Media-commissioned poll conducted by HHB and Associates Ltd, leading up to the elections, showed the incumbent People’s National Movement, (PNM) with a slight lead over the main opposition United National Congress, (UNC).