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First woman PM wins early election in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago has elected its first female prime minister in an early election, ousting an incumbent who was damaged by soaring crime and allegations of public corruption.

Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her five-party People's Partnership coalition won 29 of 41 seats in parliament, according to preliminary election results.

The 59-year-old lawyer told supporters that her government will not allow one ethnic group or social class to dominate the country. "We will build on our collective strength and character and every one of us will rise," said Ms Persad-Bissessar, whose United National Congress party draws support mainly from people of East Indian ancestry.

The outgoing Prime Minister Patrick Manning said he will evaluate his own future in the People's National Movement.