Kamla concedes defeat, refuses to resign
File photo: Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar
More than a week after the August 10 General Election, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has finally conceded defeat. However, she said she will not be resigning.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Opposition Leader said she is satisfied that the people have spoken and the People's National Movement (PNM) will form the new government.
She said: "After some days of reflection and monitoring of the progress of the election recount process, I am satisfied that the people have spoken and that Dr Rowley and his party shall form the new Government of Trinidad and Tobago. I congratulate them and wish them the best."
The Opposition Leader added she is disappointed with the election result. However, Persad-Bissessar said she accepts full responsibility.
She said: "This is understandable as I have myself queried whether I should resign. This is not an easy job.You must accept responsibility for mistakes made whether you were aware of them or not, whether you had any control over them or not. And yes, some of them you make on your own – I lay no claim to infallibility. I accept full responsibility."
The Opposition Leader said having consulting with her colleagues, "it is clear that running away is not an option at this point in time."
"Until such a time as our party chooses otherwise, I will remain their faithful champion and servant.It has already been explained that the UNC will hold scheduled Elections for a Political Leader. After careful thought, prayer and reflection I have decided to commit myself to the Leadership of the Party in and outside of Parliament until the internal elections."
Persad-Bissessar further pledged " to lead one of the strongest opposition forces in our political history with safety, accountability, transparency and equality as our priorities."
The United National Congress (UNC) had requested recounts in five constituencies following tallies at the close of the August 10 polls. All the ballots have since been recounted.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his new Cabinet will be sworn in on Wednesday at 4 pm.