If election observers do not arrive in Trinidad and Tobago today, there would be no observers for the August 10 general election.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said on Friday night that Commonwealth observers will not be coming, but the possibility still exists for Caricom observers to be present.

However, Rowley said he is not worried if observers are not able to attend as the country is no “banana republic” and is quite capable of conducting itself.

Rowley was speaking during a virtual “lime” event broadcast on his Facebook page on Friday night.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-­Bissessar had requested that election observers be present, and Rowley previously indicated he had sent letters to Caricom Secretary General Irwin La Rocque and Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland, formally inviting them to send observers to T&T.

But with Covid-19 restrictions in place, the observers would be required to spend 14 days in quarantine upon their arri­val.

This means the latest they could arrive is today to be out of quarantine in time for the polls on August 10.

Conflict of interest to bring in team

Questioned on the issue on Friday night, Rowley said the Common­wealth had indica­ted they would not be able to attend because of the cost.

He said there would have been significant cost to quarantine the delegation at a hotel for two weeks.

Rowley added there are currently no commercial flights operating due to the closure of the country’s borders and, as a result, the delegation would have difficulty getting to T&T.

Rowley said the Government could not take it upon itself to bring the team to T&T as it could be considered a conflict of interest.