Having lost the election, Kamla Persad-Bissessar suffered a final indignity this morning, as she prepared to leave her constituency office in Penal where she delivered her concession speech.
The Prime Minister’s official car, PM 1, could not start, and had to be towed from the scene shortly after midnight. Persad-Bissessar accepted a ride home with a supporter driving a sub-compact.
Persad-Bissessar, who decided not to go to the party’s headquarters at Rienzi Complex, Couva, spoke with members of the media surrounded by a small group of supporters. None were members of her government.
At around 12.01 a.m. this morning the outgoing Prime Minister and political leader of the United National Congress conceded defeat in the 2015 general election.
Persad-Bissessar said the party fought a good fight.
“Siparia, thank you very much. You know today we saw a democratic process in train and therefore we must respect the wishes of Trinidad and Tobago. They have chosen and I respect their wishes. Of course we will be disappointed with the results on the whole, but we must respect the democratic process in our country. The best wishes I can give for a better tomorrow and a better future,” she said.
Happy to be citizen Kamla
Persad-Bissessar said: “For myself I think you all very much. I thank you all very much. I am very happy to be citizen Kamla, MP for Siparia all over again. And I will continue to work with you and work with others as we will have a very strong membership in the House in the Parliament, and we will continue to work with you and to serve you...I think we won the popular vote, which is the majority of votes came to us.”
Persad-Bissesssar said that “the way how our system is framed it is the majority of seats that gives you the opportunity to form the Government. But I want to wish the new Government well and I also tell you I that I will not stop serving you. I will continue to work with you and all of Trinidad and Tobago for a better and brighter future.”
‘We fought a good fight’
In answer to questions from the media, Persad-Bissessar said: “I think we have fought a good fight, a brave fight. And where I sit tonight, or this morning I don’t see what else we could have done. We served well. We had tremendous achievements across the land and tremendous delivery. And maybe that is why we got the majority of the numbers of the votes, so not necessarily the majority of the seats. We did great achievements and great delivery. I cannot see … there may be small things that we could have done differently, but in terms of the campaign and the way we moved forward I really cannot see now what we could have done differently. Maybe when we do a post mortem. I don’t think anything went wrong, quite frankly.”