Wed | Sep 23, 2020

Trinidadians vote amid Covid-19

Published:Tuesday | August 11, 2020 | 12:21 AM

PORT OF SPAIN (CMC):

VOTERS IN Trinidad and Tobago went to the polls yesterday to elect a new government following allegations of corruption, race and promises in a campaign severely hampered by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The election here is not the only one in the Caribbean, where the pandemic has played a major role in limiting the campaigns, following upon similar polls in Anguilla, Suriname, Guyana, and St Kitts-Nevis. Up to press time, the results were not available.

Caribbean countries have been forced to implement measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus that has killed 719,000 people and infected 19.3 million others worldwide. Among the control measures are the limiting of the number of people allowed to congregate in any one place to between 10 and 25, adhering to social distancing, wearing masks, and curtailing movement through the implementation of curfews, mainly in the evenings when political rallies are usually held.

Political parties have had to be innovative, using virtual meetings to spread their messages spending excessive funds on radio and television advertisements and buying airtime. In addition, the closures of the borders have presented yet another problem, with opposition parties claiming that the governments have used the closures to prevent nationals from returning home to vote.

Trinidad and Tobago, where 1, 134, 136 people are eligible to cast ballots at the estimated 2, 200 polling stations, is no exception.