At stake in this election:
- 36 seats in the House of Representatives
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President George Maxwell RICHARDS *
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Patrick MANNING **
- Assembly: Trinidad and Tobago has a bicameral Parliament consisting of the Senate with 31 seats and the House of Representatives with 36 seats.
* The President is elected by indirect vote by an electoral college consisting of ten senators, the Speaker, and twelve members of the House of Representatives.
** The president usually appoints the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by indirect vote to serve a 5-year term.
- In the Senate 31 members are appointed to serve 5-year terms*. In the House of Representatives 36 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 5-year terms.
* In the Senate, 16 members are appointed by the ruling party, 9 members are appointed by the president, and 6 members are appointed by the opposition party. All members serve 5-year terms.
Main parties in the electoral race:
- Party: People's National Movement (PNM)
Leader: Patrick MANNING
Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 26
- Alliance: People's Partnership**
Leader: Kamla PERSAD-BISSESSAR
Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 15
- Party: New National Vision (NNV)
Leader: Fuad ABU BAKR
Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 0
** The People's Partnership is led by the United National Congress, and consists of the Congress of the People, the Tobago Organization of the People, the National Joint Action Committee and the Movement for Social Justice.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 1,229,953 (July 2009 est.)
- Registered Voters: 1,022,519 ( 2009 )