Trinidad and Tobago. In January, Finance and Economy
Minister Larry Howei announced that the government had been
forced to postpone planned public initiatives. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the reason
was that the country's finances suffered heavily from the
falling world market prices of oil and natural gas, products
that the country is almost entirely dependent on for its
export earnings. Among other things, the construction of a
new port in the capital Port of Spain was postponed in the
future. At the end of May, an agreement was signed which
means that the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago do not have a
visa for short stays in the EU countries.
In the parliamentary elections held in September, the
People's National Movement (PNM) almost doubled the number
of seats compared to the last election, from twelve to 23
out of a total of 41 seats. As a result, the party regained
its position as the country's largest, and party leader
since 2010, Keith Rowley, sworn in as new prime minister.
The United National Congress (UNC), which was a leader in
the coalition that ruled the country in 2010-15, was given
17 seats and the coalition partner the People's Congress a
parliamentary seat. The Independent Liberal Party (ILP),
formed in 2013 by UNC outbreaks, received less than 1% of
the vote, leaving it without representation in Parliament.
Prior to the election, Rowley accused the government
coalition of being responsible for a conspiracy aimed at
murdering him, a statement that was firmly rejected by Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. After the election loss,
Persad-Bissessar was challenged for the post of UNC party
leader but received overwhelming support from party members
in a vote.