Prime Minister-designate Dr Keith Rowley and successful Port-of-Spain North/St Ann’s West candidate Stuart Young greet each other on stage at Baliser House.

The first order of business for the People’s National Movement Government will be the 2021 Budget, Prime Minister Keith Rowley said last night.

He said PNM will put its shoulder to the wheel and overcome whatever stands in the way.

“We are one people in T&T and we have one government,” he told supporters at Balisier House after the party secured a 22-19 victory over the United National Congress.

Rowley noted he had promised digitisation and government would take the youths into training in this and agricultural plans, and this will be in the Budget.

“I ask you to be patient and supportive and leave behind all the aggravations of the elections; leave all the baggage behind and let’s look ahead. Our destiny is upon us; thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Rowley said T&T’s future is bright but there are some difficult days ahead within the next two years, when T&T will be required to do certain things to put itself in a better position for the future.

“The passage of the storm is to be survived and the weather after is to be enjoyed,” he said.

He said with elections over last night, “And we get up (today), this will be behind us, one people under God working together to build a stabilised nation.”

“Let’s put aside personal slights, wants and look at the national needs of those least able to help themselves. Our priority is to ensure all who call T&T a home, they can live here with peace and dignity and the people and government will play its role to build an economy and grow in such a way all of us will be lifted by the rising tide and will say Mother T&T is good to all of us – this is a period to ensure no one’s left behind. We made commitments and we intend to carry them out as we won and by God, we’ll do what we said!”

For him, personally, he said this could easily be his last term in politics as he wasn’t one of those people who felt politicians should go out “feet first.” He hugged his wife, Sharon, at his side.

Rowley said he had a commitment to ensure transition—mentoring people for bigger responsibilities—and to fashion a PNM future and ensure young people developed so T&T will have the leadership it deserves. But he said he won’t shirk his responsibility to the people who elected him for this term.

Rowley said the PNM contested hard. He said there were many to thank. But he thanked his wife, whom he said held his hand when he appeared to falter and supported him.

“And for that, I’m eternally grateful,” he said.

He also acknowledged all the young people who aided the campaign, including PNM PRO Laurel Lezama- Lee Sing’s great energy. He said in the pandemic, where some may not have participated, youths came to the fore and the victory is theirs.

“You’re with us, your party has won!”

He said the number of seats won didn’t affect PNM’s performance across T&T. He said PNM had also doubled its vote in Chaguanas East.