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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 20:43 GMT
Trinidad's ruling party wins poll
Trinidad's Prime Minister Patrick Manning raises his hand during a victory rally
PM Patrick Manning hailed his party's 'comfortable' majority
The ruling People's National Movement (PNM) has easily won re-election in Trinidad and Tobago's general election.

The party won 26 seats in the country's 41-seat parliament, just two short of the 28 needed to make amendments to the country's constitution.

The opposition United National Congress Alliance (UNC) won 15 seats.

In the campaign, the PNM pointed to Trinidad's economic success, while the opposition argued that little had been done to fight crime and corruption.

"The people have spoken, Almighty God has spoken to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and we thank Him for this victory," said PNM leader Prime Minister Patrick Manning in a speech to supporters.

"We find that a very comfortable majority with which we can work," he added.

Third party

Political affiliation in the former British colony tends to divide along racial lines: people of African origin usually back the PNM, while those with Indian backgrounds traditionally support the UNC.

This year, however, a third party - the Congress of the People (COP), a break-away faction of the UNC - also ran.

Although the COP attempted to appeal to voters from all ethnic backgrounds, UNC leader Basdeo Panday accused it of taking votes from the UNC, thus allowing the PNM to win several marginal seats.

Rising crude oil prices worldwide are having a big effect on Trinidad and Tobago, whose core exports are liquefied natural gas and a range of petro-chemical products.

The country's Central Bank says annual GDP growth has averaged 8% over the last five years, and Mr Manning will have a budget of $8bn (3.87bn) a year to spend for the next five years.

SEE ALSO
Oil adds fuel to Trinidad election
04 Nov 07 |  Americas
Country profile: Trinidad and Tobago
11 May 07 |  Country profiles

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