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Trinidad & Tobago: Opposition Wins Again; Government Still Optimistic

The results of the St. Joseph by-election in Trinidad have come in and – just as in the recently concluded Local Government Elections – the opposition People's National Movement has emerged victorious. The seat was previously held by former Justice Minister Herbert Volney of the People's Partnership coalition government. Twitter and Facebook have both seen netizen commentary about the outcome.

Early on, journalist @john_yearwood wondered if people were calling the seat too quickly:

Eldwin Baptiste was convinced that the PNM would hold on to its lead:

Even before the official results were announced, the Ccn Tvnews Facebook page felt secure enough in its sources to post that:

PNM Candidate Terrence Deyalsingh wins the St. Joseph By-Election: PNM 6308 votes; ILP 1986 votes; UNC 5605; IND 303 votes; DNA 9 votes. (53 of 53 stations) Source: Solution By Simulation

Much of the reader commentary on that post referred to the “wetting” that government's candidate Ian Alleyne promised his political rivals. Denecia J S Boodoo said:

ian['s] wetting after wetting has back fire[d] on him

The official results that were released later that night confirmed the early trends. An official statement from the Elections and Boundaries Commission noted that the opposition's candidate led the government's by 779 votes; just over 50% of the eligible population voted.

The PNM's official Facebook page, which changed its cover photo in anticipation of the by-election, wasted no time in celebrating the win:

Congratulations to Terrance Deyalsingh MP for St. Joseph.
Thank you for leading the way to the next General Elections!!

Impact on Governance soon quoted the opposition leader, Dr. Keith Rowley, in this tweet:

The government wasn't quite prepared to admit defeat, though, seeing that its losing candidate came in at what some supporters thought was a strong second place. According to the C News Live Facebook page, Alleyne himself noted that:

“In 10 days time I have done a lot. What it takes some MPs 5 years I did in 10 days…”

Facebook user Patricia Worrell was not surprised at the government's reaction:

So! PNM won!
Waiting for KPB to come and ‘explain’ to us why it's really a UNC victory!

Finally, the memes started coming, with one of the most blunt referring to the then-teenager at the centre of this controversial story, who happens to be Ian Alleyne's sister:

Meme by Trini Public Sector Comics.

Meme by Trini Public Sector Comics – www.facebook.com/trinicomics

The thumbnail image used in this post is by Georgia Popplewell, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license. Visit Georgia Popplewell's flickr photostream. All Facebook status in this post that do not belong to public pages have been used with permission.

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