Yesterday-April 8, 2010-Prime Minister Patrick Manning gave instructions to President George Maxwell Richards to dissolve Parliament, two years and seven months before the General Election is constitutionally due.

Manning gave no date. But the dissolution paves the way for the holding of a General Election within a minimum of 35 days and a maximum of 90 days. Sources said yesterday it would be definitely in May. Election is normally held on a Monday and therefore the earliest date would be May 17, which sources said is highly probable.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Patrick Manning.

A statement issued by the website of the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago said:

In accordance with Section 68 of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Patrick Manning, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago today advised His Excellency, President George Maxwell Richards to dissolve the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago with effect from midnight, Thursday, April 8, 2010.

His Excellency, President George Maxwell Richards TC CMT Phd has issued the relevant Proclamation.

The dissolution of Parliament also comes on the collapse of the Government’s efforts to pass into law the Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority Bill last evening. The Government needed the support of at least four Independent Senators to pass the bill, which required a special majority.

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With the dissolution of Parliament, the House of Representatives ended with the no-confidence motion outstanding. But the General Election would no doubt broaden rather than curtail this debate. For while in the Parliament a debate on a no-confidence motion in the Prime Minister is limited to 41 MPs, who have only 75 minutes to present their case, an election campaign provides an opportunity for the entire country to debate in every nook and cranny, over at least a 35-day period whether the Patrick Manning-led PNM deserves a fresh mandate or not.

[Via Trinidad Express]

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