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Trinidad and Tobago General Election Results - 11 December 2000
Parliament Building, Trinidad and Tobago

General Elections were held in Trinidad and Tobago on 11 December 2000 for all 36 seats in the House of Representatives.

Electoral System

The 36 members of the House of Representatives are elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting. There is no fixed election date in effect in Trinidad and at this time; hence, the choice of election date is the prerogative of the Prime Minister.

Background

Political analysts said that the election was expected to be another close contest between Prime Minister Basdeo Panday's UNC and opposition leader and former Prime Minister Patrick Manning's PNM, both of which had won 17 seats in the 36-seat Parliament in the last general election in November 1995.

Political Parties & Candidates

A total of 79 candidates, five of them independents and the others representing four political parties contested the election - the United National Congress (UNC), the People’s National Movement (PNM), the National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) and the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP).

Campaign

The campaign was marred by charges of electoral corruption and legal challenges over allegations of voter registration fraud; the police arrested at least 21 people accused of moving voters to provinces where the electoral contests were the tightest. The two main parties, the ruling United National Congress (UNC) and the opposition People's National Movement (PNM), announced during the electoral campaign their plans to challenge through the courts several nominations of candidates from the other party. The third party represented in the outgoing Parliament, the National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR), accused the two main parties of polarising the country along ethnic lines.

A six-member Commonwealth observer team which monitored the elections in an effort to avoid voting irregularities declared that the elections had been free and fair.

Results

Final results announced by the Election Commission showed that Prime Minister Panday's UNC had won 19 seats. The opposition PNM won 16 seats, while the NAR obtained only one seat.

On 20 December 2000, Mr Basdeo Panday was sworn in again as Prime Minister. One week later, the opposition PNM asked the High Court to overturn the election to Parliament of two of the successful UNC candidates on the grounds that they had illegally filed nomination papers while holding dual citizenship in contravention of the Representation of the People's Act. On 2 January 2001, President Arthur Robinson refused to swear in seven Cabinet members appointed by the prime minister, deepening a political rift, as he said they had been defeated in the elections. On 7 February 2001, the appointed ministers filed a constitutional motion in the courts as they were seeking the court's intervention on the continuing refusal of the President to appoint them as government senators. The impase ended one week later, when President Arthur Robinson agreed to appoint the seven ministers.

Voter Turnout

Voter turnout was 63.05%.

ELECTORAL SYSTEM
System First-past-the-post
Elected Members 36 single-member constituencies
VOTER TURNOUT
Total Valid Votes 594,875
Invalid Votes 2,650
Total Votes Cast 597,525
Registered Voters 947,689
Voter Turnout 63.05%
   
CRITICAL DATES
Dissolution of House Fri, 3 Nov 2000
Polling Day Mon, 11 Dec 2000
First Meeting of Parliament Fri, 12 Jan 2001
POLITICAL LEADERS
  Photo Patrick MANNING
People's National Movement (PNM)
  Photo Basdeo PANDAY
United National Congress (UNC)
ELECTION REPORTS
Commonwealth Electoral Observation Mission Final Report Download report
RELATED RESOURCES
Representation of the People Act Download report
Constitution Act Download report
SUMMARY RESULTS
  Party Code Votes Candidates Seats
Total % votes Change Number Change
  People's National Movement PNM 276,334 46.45% -2.31% 36 16 -1
  United National Congress Winner UNC 307,791 51.74% +5.98% 34 19 +2
  National Alliance for Reconstruction NAR 7,409 1.25% -3.51% 2 0 -1
  People's Empowerment Party PEP 2,071 0.35% +0.35% 2 0 -
  The Mercy Society TMS 142 0.02% +0.02% 1 0 -
  Independent Candidates IND 1,128 0.19% +0.19% 4 0 -
  Total   594,875 100% - 79 36 -
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 POLITICAL PARTIES learn more
PNM - People's National Movement
PP - People's Partnership
ILP - Independent Labour Party
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Key
PNM= People's National Movement; PP=People's Partnership; ILP=Independent Labour Party; IND = Inpendent candidate; * Incumbent; ** Political Leader
Sources
Elections and Boundaries Commission of Trinidad and Tobago
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