With regard to ‘Trinidad pre-election rumblings’ (Editorial, SN, Feb 11), the findings of three different surveys show Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s United National Congress still ahead of the opposition PNM in elections due this year. An opinion survey conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) last week (Feb 2-6) revealed overwhelming support for the Trinidad PM’s handling of the Senate ministerial appointees whom she fired from the cabinet. She also called for an investigation of the Chair of the country’s Police Complaints Authority. Another poll, conducted by a research centre of UWI placed Ms Persad-Bissessar in the lead over the Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley in electoral support.
NACTA found some 79% of the population approve of the firing of the two ministers (Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Security Minister Gary Griffith) with 12% in opposition and the rest not offering a response. On whether the PCA Chair should resign or the President revoke his appointment for his involvement in the controversy, 42% said yes and 39% said no, with 19% not offering a response. The Chair did not inform any of the relevant leaders that he had tendered a statement in the lawsuit. Some 59% feel he should have disclosed (with 28% saying no) to the President, Prime Minister and Opposition Leader that he tendered a witness statement in the Ramlogan-Rowley defamation lawsuit. Almost everyone feels West waited too long to file a criminal complaint against Ramlogan, raising suspicion about his intention.
The UWI poll on the preference for the PM placed Ms Persad-Bissessar above Rowley 31% to 21% in terms of popular support for the elections. Also, the Peoples Partnership leads the Opposition PNM 32% to 21% with Jack Warner’s ILP at 1%. The latest NACTA polls had a closer outcome with Ms Persad-Bissessar leading in the preference for PM, 37% to 29% and the PP leading the PNM 41% to 37% with the ILP at 5%.
A Solution by Simulation Poll put the PP and PNM in a dead heat in two marginal seats (San Fernando West and Tunapuna) that will decide the outcome of the election. NACTA puts the PNM comfortably ahead in both seats. According to NACTA, the PNM is projected to win 19 seats and the UNC 20 seats with the two Tobago seats not polled. But the other pollster has the outcome a dead heat with two seats deciding the outcome.