CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. April 19, 2010: A former campaign strategist to President Barack Obama has been retained by the main opposition party in Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the May 24 snap election.
Prime Ministerial hopeful and leader of the United National Congress, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has retained Ernie Campbell, to help the UNC as it battles against the incumbent, Prime Minister Patrick Manning and his People`s National Movement party.
Campbell said Friday he thought the climate in Trinidad and Tobago was similar to that in the United States in 2008, when Obama clinched his historic win.
`Today feels very familiar, this is what it feels like when change starts. It`s good to be here with another transformation leader, ready to bring change to her country,` he said of the UNC leader. `She is a fantastic candidate.`
Manning has been accused of mismanaging public funds and corruption by the UNC and dissolved parliament on April 8th. On Friday, April 16th, he announced the election will be May 24th. Manning, 64, has ruled Trinidad and Tobago for 13 of the past 17 years.
Persad-Bissessar has called on citizens to `grab the moment and take back Trinidad and Tobago` from Manning.
`This time is too important. There can be no waking up on the morning of May 25 with regret that each of us did not do what we should have done,` Persad-Bissessar implored at a public rally Friday. `You did not wait for me, I waited for you. This is not my time, it is your time.` She made an appeal for supporters to vote out the PNM. `Do you want five more years of the last five years?…Do you want five more years of being ignored? No?…then give me your hand and join me.`
She pointed out that on January 24th she became UNC political leader, on February 24th she became Opposition Leader and on May 24th, the date of the 2010 general election, she would liberate the people from Manning and free them from his rule.
Some 1.04 million people in the country of 1.3 million are eligible to vote, up from 990,467 during the 2007 election, when PM Manning won re-election.