Kamla Persad-Bissessar became the 21st prime minister and first woman premier of Trinidad and Tobago on Monday. Representing the five-party People’s Partnership coalition, Persad-Bissessar beat out incumbent PM Patrick Manning, who conceded defeat five hours after the polls closed.
The People’s Partnership swept 29 of the 41 parliamentary seats in Monday’s election. Persad-Bissessar built a campaign that addressed voter concerns such as rising gang violence, corruption in both private and public sectors, and a lack of adequate medical facilities.
Persad-Bissessar is a lawyer and was the first woman Attorney-General and also served as Minister of Legal Affairs as well as Minister of Education. The Hindu reports,
Ms. Persad-Bissessar, a grandmother of two and a devout Hindu, said: “I am grateful for the immense support from women and women’s groups across the country and to the extent that this helps to break the barriers so many competent women face.
“I celebrate this victory on their behalf. But, the picture is much larger than any single group and those very women would be the first to acknowledge that.”
Persad-Bissessar will be sworn in Tuesday evening.