Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Keith Christopher Rowley was born on October 24, 1949 in Tobago. He was raised by his grandparents who were farmers. Rowley attended Bishop’s High School in Tobago and later the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He obtained a graduate degree in geology with a specialization in geochemistry.
As a distinguished volcanologist, Dr. Rowley was a research fellow, the head of the Seismic Research Unit at the University of the West Indies, and general manager of the National Quarries Company Limited.
In 1981, Dr. Rowley first ran for political office as a member of the People's National Movement (PNM). He is the only PNM member to challenge a seat in a general election in both Trinidad and in Tobago, according to his official biography.
Dr. Rowley has represented the district for Diego Martin West since 1991. In addition, Dr. Rowley has served as an opposition senator and cabinet member for at least 6 departments.
In 2010, Dr. Rowley was appointed as Leader of the Opposition.
On September 7, 2015, Dr. Rowley became the 7th Prime Minister of Trinidad.
On August 10, 2020, general elections were held but recounts in six constituencies delayed the results for one week. It was the first parliamentary election where the results were finalized more than one day after the election. On August 18, 2020, Dr. Rowley was sworn in for his second term.
Trinidad’s electoral system is made up of 41 members of the House of Representatives. Each member is elected from a constituency. The party with the most members in the House of Representatives forms the government with its leader as Prime Minister. The two largest parties are the PNM and the United National Congress. The former has supporters mainly of African descent while the latter has supporters mainly of Indian descent.
Both Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana’s recent elections highlighted the racial divides within the countries. The global movement towards racial justice calls for the new leaders to implement inclusive and diverse policies.
Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth, Esq. is a civil transaction/litigation and bankruptcy attorney. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, a minor degree in History that focused on the slavery and indentured servitude eras, a minor degree in Criminology, and a Juris Doctor degree.
MDGR Law, P.A.