Foreign relations of Trinidad and Tobago
Modern Trinidad and Tobago maintains close relations with its Caribbean neighbors and major North American and European trading partners. As the most industrialized and second-largest country in the English-speaking Caribbean and Tobago has taken a leading role in the Caribbean Community, supports CARICOM economic integration efforts, it is active in the Summit of the Americas process and supports the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, lobbying other nations for seating the Secretariat in Port of Spain. As a member of CARICOM, Trinidad and Tobago backed efforts by the United States to bring political stability to Haiti, contributing personnel to the Multinational Force in 1994. After its 1962 independence and Tobago joined the United Nations and Commonwealth of Nations. In 1967, it became the first Commonwealth country to join the Organization of American States. In 1995, Trinidad played host to the inaugural meeting of the Association of Caribbean States and has become the seat of this 35-member grouping, which seeks to further economic progress and integration among its states.
In international forums and Tobago has defined itself as having an independent voting record, but supports U. S. and EU positions. Trinidad and Tobago has been a trans-shipment point for South American drugs destined for the United States and Europe; this has created much tension in the country's politics. Trinidad and Tobago is a member-state of the International Criminal Court, without a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the U. S. military On its 1962 independence and Tobago joined the United Nations and Commonwealth of Nations. In 1967, it became the first Commonwealth country to join the Organization of American States. In 1995, Trinidad played host to the inaugural meeting of the Association of Caribbean States and has become the seat of this 35-member grouping, which seeks to further economic progress and integration among its states; as the most industrialized and second-largest country in the English-speaking Caribbean and Tobago has taken a leading role in the Caribbean Community, supports CARICOM economic integration efforts.
It is active in the Summit of the Americas process and supports the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, lobbying other nations for seating the Secretariat in Port of Spain. As a member of CARICOM, Trinidad and Tobago backed efforts by the United States to bring political stability to Haiti, contributing personnel to the Multinational Force in 1994. Trinidad and Tobago is a member-state of the International Criminal Court, without a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the U. S. military. List of diplomatic missions in Trinidad and Tobago List of diplomatic missions of Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago passport War on Drugs Ministry of Foreign Affairs
United National Congress
The United National Congress is one of the two major political parties in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and one of the main parties in the current opposition. It was founded by a lawyer and former trade unionist; the UNC was formed as the result of a split in the ruling National Alliance for Reconstruction in 1988. After spending six years in opposition, the UNC won control of the government in 1995. In the 2000 general elections, the UNC won an absolute majority in the Parliament. In 2001, a split in the party caused the UNC to lose its parliamentary majority and control of the government. Between 1991 and 1995, again from 2001 to 2010, the UNC was the Parliamentary Opposition party. In May 2010, the UNC returned to government as the majority party in the People's Partnership. With this victory, the UNC's political leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar was sworn in as Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the first woman to hold this position; the UNC has been supported by a majority of Hindu Trinidadian and Tobagonians, Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonians, the different minorities of the country.
The UNC is colloquially called the Indian party or the Hindu Party. The party symbol is the rising sun above the Trinity Hills; the party was founded on 30 April 1989 following a split in the ruling National Alliance for Reconstruction. In that split 6 MPs all of whom were former members of the United Labour Front left the NAR to form the Caucus for Love and Brotherhood 1988, chaired by Dr. Rampersad Parasram. CLUB 88 evolved into the United National Congress with Panday as leader and Dr. Rampersad Parasram as its first chairman. Panday had been the leader of the United Labour Front The UNC won 13 seats in the 1991 General Elections and became the official opposition, it won a 14th seat in a by-election and gained another in 1995 when Ralph Maraj defected from the PNM. In 1995 Hulsie Bhaggan, MP for Chaguanas left the party to form the Movement for Progress; the UNC formed the Government of Trinidad and Tobago between 1995- 2001 and was returned to government in May 2010 in partnership with the Congress of the People, NJAC, MSJ and TOP.
Mrs. Kamla Persad Bissessar is Opposition leader. In General Elections held in 1995 the UNC won 17 of 36 seats, formed a coalition government with the National Alliance for Reconstruction which won 2 seats. In exchange for his support, NAR political leader ANR Robinson was first appointed Minister Extraordinaire and elected President in 1997. Two PNM MPs supported the UNC as independent members; this gave the UNC an absolute majority, led to deterioration in relations with the NAR. In the 2000 elections the UNC won 19 seats forming the government outright. However, internal party elections in 2001 highlighted a rift in the party with Panday and Attorney-General Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj in effect fielding rival slates. Maharaj's slate termed itself'Team Unity'. Panday was not challenged as Political Leader but Maharaj's slate won 21 of the 24 other executive posts. Maharaj himself was elected as the new Deputy Leader; this did not translate into increased prestige for Maharaj in the government as Panday refused to recommend Maharaj as Acting Prime Minister in his absence.
Maharaj countered by initiating investigations into charges of corruption by Panday and his supporters. Panday reduced the ministerial portfolios of Maharaj and his supporters; this led to the defection of Maharaj. This led to the calling of early elections in 2001 in which the UNC were reduced to 18 seats in the House of Representatives; the opposition People's National Movement, which won 18 seats, was called upon to form the government. At the last legislative elections, 7 October 2002, the party won 46.5% of popular votes and 16 out of 36 seats in the House of Representatives. This made it the opposition in parliament to the ruling People's National Movement government, which held the other 20 seats. In April 2005, the UNC was further weakened when Pointe-à-Pierre MP Gillian Lucky and San Juan MP Fuad Khan declared themselves to be "independent UNC members" and relocated to the Opposition backbenches. On 31 May 2005, Basdeo Panday, together with his wife Oma, former UNC MP Carlos John and party financier Ishwar Galbaransingh were arrested for bribery.
Basdeo Panday remained in prison for eight days. On 2 September 2005, Panday announced that he would be willing to hand over party leadership to Winston Dookeran if Panday could remain on as party chairman; as a result of negotiations between the two, Dookeran was nominated unopposed for the post of Political Leader and Panday was nominated unopposed for the party Chairmanship. However, both fielded rival slates for the remaining 16 executive posts. On 2 October, Basdeo Panday's slate won 12 of the posts including two of the three deputy leader positions and the vice-chairmanship. Dookeran's slate won the 4 remaining posts. Members of the slate backed by Dookeran have called for Basdeo Panday to step down as Leader of the Opposition. Gerald Yetming, MP for St. Joseph joined the Opposition back benches in protest of Basdeo Panday's failure to relinquish the position of Leader of the Opposition. In February 2006, Panday announced. Maharaj was to
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
2015 Trinidad and Tobago general election
General elections were held in Trinidad and Tobago on 7 September 2015. The date of the general elections was announced by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on 13 June 2015; the result was a victory for the opposition People's National Movement, which received 52% of the vote and won 23 of the 41 seats in the House of Representatives. The 2010 general elections were won by the People's Partnership coalition, an alliance of the United National Congress, the National Joint Action Committee, the Congress of the People and the Tobago Organisation of the People; the PP took 29 of the 41 seats, with the People's National Movement winning the other 12. Prior to the 2015 general elections, two by-elections were held in St Joseph and Chaguanas West, which saw the seats held by the PP won by the PNM and Independent Liberal Party respectively; the 41 elected members of the House of Representatives were elected in single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post. A total of 2,199 polling stations were used.
A total of 127 candidates contested the election for 17 different political parties, with another five running as independents. The PNM was the only party to contest all 41 seats, only two other parties contested more than half the seats; the COP ran in eight seats, the Laventille Outreach for Vertical Enrichment, the NJAC, New National Vision and Trinidad Humanity Campaign all contested three seats, whilst Tobago Forwards, the TOP and the Platform of Truth ran in two. The other parties only nominated a single candidate, including the Democratic Development Party, the Independent Democratic Party, the National Coalition for Transportation, the New Voice, the Youth Empowerment Party and the Youth, National Organisations, Farmers Unification, Policy Reformation; the UNC, NJAC, COP and TOP again ran under the PP banner, did not run candidates against each other. Opposition leader Keith Rowley described the election campaign as one of the most "gruelling" in the country's history, but highlighted that the campaign had been conducted in high spirits and without violence or unrest.
Preliminary results on election night indicated that the PNM had won a majority government with 22 of 41 seats, but with a majority of the popular vote flowing to the ruling People's Partnership coalition. On the final count however the PNM secured an absolute majority of votes cast and obtained an extra seat from the PP, winning 23 of the 41 seats; the four parties in the PP alliance received a combined 46.6% of the vote, winning the remaining eighteen seats. Outgoing Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar denied allegations that her coalition had run an ineffective campaign, her incoming successor, PNM leader Keith Rowely, described the mandate his party had won as an "awesome responsibility" and pledged "to make every effort to rekindle the feeling of nationalism in Trinidad and Tobago". Winning candidates are in bold font
Leader of the Opposition (Trinidad and Tobago)
The Leader of the Opposition in Trinidad and Tobago is the leader of the largest political party which has not formed the current government. The Leader of the Opposition is a member of the House of Representatives, is appointed by the President of Trinidad and Tobago; the current Leader of the Opposition is Kamla Persad-Bissessar, leader of the United National Congress. Politics of Trinidad and Tobago President of Trinidad and Tobago List of Prime Ministers of Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Parliament - Leaders of the Opposition
A Cabinet is a body of high-ranking state officials consisting of the top leaders of the executive branch. Members of a cabinet are called Cabinet ministers or secretaries; the function of a Cabinet varies: in some countries it is a collegiate decision-making body with collective responsibility, while in others it may function either as a purely advisory body or an assisting institution to a decision making head of state or head of government. Cabinets are the body responsible for the day-to-day management of the government and response to sudden events, whereas the legislative and judicial branches work in a measured pace, in sessions according to lengthy procedures. In some countries those that use a parliamentary system, the Cabinet collectively decides the government's direction in regard to legislation passed by the parliament. In countries with a presidential system, such as the United States, the Cabinet does not function as a collective legislative influence. In this way, the President obtains opinions and advice relating to forthcoming decisions.
Under both types of system, the Westminster variant of a parliamentary system and the presidential system, the Cabinet "advises" the Head of State: the difference is that, in a parliamentary system, the monarch, viceroy or ceremonial president will always follow this advice, whereas in a presidential system, a president, head of government and political leader may depart from the Cabinet's advice if they do not agree with it. In practice, in nearly all parliamentary democracies that do not follow the Westminster system, in three countries that do often the Cabinet does not "advise" the Head of State as they play only a ceremonial role. Instead, it is the head of government who holds all means of power in their hands and to whom the Cabinet reports; the second role of cabinet officials is to administer executive branches, government agencies, or departments. In the United States federal government, these are the federal executive departments. Cabinets are important originators for legislation.
Cabinets and ministers are in charge of the preparation of proposed legislation in the ministries before it is passed to the parliament. Thus the majority of new legislation originates from the cabinet and its ministries. In most governments, members of the Cabinet are given the title of Minister, each holds a different portfolio of government duties. In a few governments, as in the case of Mexico, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, United States, the title of Secretary is used for some Cabinet members. In many countries, a Secretary is a cabinet member with an inferior rank to a Minister. In Finland, a Secretary of State is a career official. In some countries, the Cabinet is known by names such as "Council of Ministers", "Government Council" or "Council of State", or by lesser known names such as "Federal Council", "Inner Council" or "High Council"; these countries may differ in the way that the cabinet is established. The supranational European Union uses a different convention: the European Commission refers to its executive cabinet as a "college", with its top public officials referred to as "commissioners", whereas a "European Commission cabinet" is the personal office of a European Commissioner.
In presidential systems such as the United States, members of the Cabinet are chosen by the president, may have to be confirmed by one or both of the houses of the legislature. In most presidential systems, cabinet members cannot be sitting legislators, legislators who are offered appointments must resign if they wish to accept. In parliamentary systems, several different policies exist with regard to whether legislators can be Cabinet ministers: cabinet members must, must not, or may be members of parliament, depending on the country. In the United Kingdom, cabinet ministers are mandatorily appointed from among sitting members of the parliament. In countries with a strict separation between the executive and legislative branches of government, e.g. Luxembourg and Belgium, cabinet members have to give up their seat in parliament; the intermediate case is when ministers are members of parliament, but are not required to be, as in Finland. The candidate prime minister and/or the president selects the individual ministers to be proposed to the parliament, which may accept or reject the proposed cabinet composition.
Unlike in a presidential system, the cabinet in a parliamentary system must not only be confirmed, but enjoy the continuing confidence of the parliament: a parliament can pass a motion of no confidence to remove a government or individual ministers. But not these votes are taken across party lines. In some countries attorneys general sit in the cabinet, while in many others this is prohibited as the attorneys general are considered to be part of the judicial branch of government. Instead, there is a minister of justice, separate from the attorney general. Furthermore, in Sweden and Estonia, the cabinet includes a Chancellor of Justice, a civil servant that acts as the legal counsel to the cabinet. In multi-party systems, the formation of a government may require the support of multiple parties. Thus, a coalition government is formed. Continued cooperation between the participating political parties is nece
Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonian
Indo-Trinidadians and Tobagonians or Indian-Trinidadians and Tobagonians, are nationals of Trinidad and Tobago whose ancestors came from South Asia. They are a part of the wider Indo-Caribbean community, which itself is a part of the global Indian diaspora. Indians in Trinidad and Tobago can trace their ancestors back to the Hindi belt region of Northern India, located in the Indus-Ganga Plain as well as Pakistan and Bangladesh; this plain is located between the Ganga and Yamuna rivers and faces the mountain ranges of the Himalayas and the Vindhyas in Northern India. In his book Perspectives on the Caribbean: A Reader In Culture and Representation, Philip W. Scher cites figures by Steven Vertovec, Professor of Anthropology. Out of 134,118 indentured labourers from India, 5,000 distinguished themselves as "Madrasi" from the port of Madras and the immigrants from Bengal as "Kalkatiyas", from the city Kolkata. Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonians has now become interchangeable with East Indians; these were people who were escaping poverty in India and seeking employment offered by the British for jobs either as indentured labourers, workers or educated servicemen between 1845–1917.
The demand for Indian indentured labourers increased after the abolition of slavery in 1834. They were sent, sometimes in large numbers, to plantation colonies producing high-value crops such as sugar in Africa and the Caribbean. In his book Finding a Place, journalist and academic Kris Rampersad challenges and rejects the notion of East Indians to describe people in Indian heritage in the Caribbean and traces their migration and adaptation from hyphenated isolation inherent in the description Indo-Trinidadian or Indo-Caribbean for the unhyphenated integration into their societies as IndoTrinidadian and Indocaribbean that embraces both their ancestral and their national identities. In Trinidad some Chinese men had children with dark skinned Indian women of Madrasee origin and it was reported that "A few children are to be met with born of Madras and Creole parents and some of Madras and Chinese parents - the Madrasee being the mother", by the missionary John Morton in 1876, Morton noted that it seemed strange since there were more Indian coolie men than Indian coolie women that Indian coolie women would marry Chinese men, but claimed it was most because the Chinese could provide amenities to the women since the Chinese owned shops and they were enticed by these.
Few Chinese women migrated to Trinidad. The migration of Chinese to Trinidad resulted in intermarriage between them and others. Chinese in Trinidad became open to having marital relations with other races and Indian women began having families with Chinese in the 1890s; the situation on Trinidad enabled unprecedented autonomy in the sexual activities of Indian women and freedom. Approval of interracial marriage has increased in Trinidad and Tobago and one Chinese man reported that his Indian wife did not encounter any rejection from his parents when asked in a survey. In Trinidad and Chinese are seen as acceptable marriage partners by Indians, while marrying black men would lead to rejection of their daughters by Indian families. According to the Douglas' consciousness, there were twice as many Indian men with black women than black men with Indian women, the statistics for Chinese men are not clear since the majority of Indians were from honour killing prevalent states whereas the Tamil labourer families had more open mentalities.
Some Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonians can trace their ancestry to indentured labourers who immigrated to Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent, Grenada, or other islands in the Caribbean. Many are descendants of immigrants from India. According to the most recent census conducted in Trinidad and Tobago, Hinduism is the religion followed by the majority of Indo Trinidadians, however this majority is not a plurality; the breakdown of religious affiliation for Indo Trinidadians is as follows - Hinduism - 49.54% Islam - 11.64% Pentecostal/Evangelical/Full Gospel - 9.67% Roman Catholic - 6.48% Other - 5.87% Presbyterians - 5.68% None and Not Stated - 7.34%The remaining 3.78% is made up of adherents of Jainism, Bahá'í, the Anglican, Jehovah's Witnesses, Moravian, Seventh-day Adventist and Baptist denominations of Protestant Christianity. Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago are represented by several organizations and entities the largest of, the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha led by Satnarayan Maharaj. Other Hindu organizations include SWAHA International, Arya Samaj, Chinmaya Mission, Kabir Panth, ISKCON.
The major Muslim organisation representing Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago is the Anjuman Sunnat-ul-Jamaat Association led by Yacoob Ali. Other Islamic organizations include Darul Uloom and Tackveeyatul Islamic Association of Trinidad and Tobago Inc. Although the Maha Sabha and ASJA were once seen to speak for the vast majority of Hindus and Muslims in Trinidad, their membership has eroded but they still remain the largest organized voice for the respective Indian communities. Indo-Trinidadians have traditionally given their political support to parties opposed to the Peoples National Movement which has historical