PNM WINS VOTE Harris accepts VP nomination
People’s National Movement (PNM) will
run the twin-island republic with Tobago
with a 22-19 majority, having dropped one
seat because it had apparently fielded an
The PM has promised renewed focus on
developing the agriculture sector in the
new term even as racial tension between
the Afro and Indo communities in the
aftermath of a bitter campaign remains.
Rowley has also promised renewed energy
to deal with the Covid pandemic and to
move to improve the republic’s faltering
But as Trinidad settles down after a
bruising and extremely racially charged
campaign, the focus in the 15-nation CARICOM
grouping now switches north to
Jamaica where Prime Minister, Andrew
Holness’ Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) appears
on course to win another term at the
expense of Peter Phillips’ People’s National
Party (PNP) in polls set for Sept. 3.
Latest surveys show the JLP with a
comfortable 10 point plus lead over the
PNP as the party moves to increase its
32-31 seat, razor thin majority from the
Holness, 49, recently moved to call snap
elections months ahead of the constitutional
due date saying that he wants Jamaicans
to vote while it is still safe to do so
with the pandemic under some control.
Officials fear that with the numbers
increasing, locals might stay away if they
Caribbean L 12 ife, August 21-27, 2020
wait until next year so the Sept. 3 date was
called six months earlier. A total of 139
candidates including more than a dozen
independents will line up for seats in the
63-member parliament. Special sectors
like the security services and other essentials
will vote on Aug. 31 to free workers for
duty on election day.
“I think we can move ahead safely,” Holness
told reporters this week, referring to
fears about increasing numbers and large
blocs of people lining up at poll stations
to vote safely. “We have made a health
decision. We have to move ahead. We are
transitioning from the containment phase
into a phase of learning to live with COVID
so, you have to go on with your life. You
can’t allow your institutions to collapse.
You can’t allow democracy to fail because
of COVID,” the PM said.
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Guyanese father, became the first Caribbean
and African American candidate to
seek nomination from a major US political
party for President of the United States.
In her 17-minute acceptance speech,
Harris said her nomination is “testament
to the dedication of generations” before
Women and men who believed so
fiercely in the promise of equality, liberty
and justice for all,” she said, noting that
this week marks the 100th anniversary
of the passage of the 19th Amendment of
the US Constitution, which guaranteed
women’s right to vote.
“Yet, so many of the Black women
who helped secure that victory were still
prohibited from voting, long after its ratification,”
she added. “But they were undeterred.
Without fanfare or recognition,
they organized, testified, rallied, marched
and fought — not just for their vote but
for a seat at the table.
“These women and the generations
that followed worked to make democracy
and opportunity real in the lives of all
of us who followed,” Harris continued.
“They paved the way for the trailblazing
leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary
Clinton. And these women inspired us to
pick up the torch — and fight on.”
Among those women, she said, were
Mary Church Terrell, Mary McCleod Bethune,
Fannie Lou Hamer, Diane Nash,
Constance Baker Motley and Chisholm.
“We’re not often taught their stories,”
Harris said. “But, as Americans, we all
stand on their shoulders.”
She also invoked another woman,
“whose shoulders I stand on.
“And that’s my mother — Shyamala
Gopalan Harris,” Harris said, stating that
her mother came to America from India
at 19 to pursue her dream of curing
She said her mother met her father,
Donald Harris, at the University of California
Berkeley, who had come from
Jamaica to study economics.
“They fell in love in that most American
way — while marching together for
justice in the civil rights movement of the
1960s,” Harris disclosed.
And after spending some time delving
into the importance of family and how
she was raised, Harris dug into Trump’s
“failed leadership” and why America must
elect the Biden-Harris ticket to lead the
“Donald Trump’s failure of leadership
has cost lives and livelihoods,” Harris
said. “If you’re a parent struggling with
your child’s remote learning, or you’re a
teacher struggling on the other side of
that screen, you know that what we’re
doing right now isn’t working.
“And we are a nation that’s grieving,”
she added. “Grieving the loss of life, the
loss of jobs, the loss of opportunities,
the loss of normalcy and, yes, the loss of
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Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister,
Dr. Keith Rowley. Photo by Nelson A. King