At last night’s UNC virtual political meeting one of our most treasured and accomplished veteran MPs, Dr Tim Gopeesingh, magnanimously announced that he was bowing out of contesting the upcoming general elections, to make way for a younger generation.
Earlier this year, Tabaquite MP, Dr Suruj Rambachan, did the same.
Today, I wish to express my deepest, most heartfelt gratitude to these two MPs and former power Ministers of my last Government.
Last night, I pointed out that Dr Gopeesingh and I were the two best performing, visionary Education Ministers to have ever passed through T&T.
We modernized the education sector in ways never seen before in T&T, by introducing, in my stewardship, universal secondary education, and in his, universal early childhood education.
Under my Government, we also brought the sector into the technological age with our ‘Laptops for all’ programme, and built over 100 schools throughout the country.
Dr Rambachan’s Ministerial tenure was also marked by diligence, performance and delivery.
Our country truly owes these two MPs a debt of gratitude for their long years of selfless, dedicated and efficient yeoman service.
They have both also served their constituents with diligence, competence and efficiency.
I am truly grateful for their longstanding, unconditional support and service to the UNC and my leadership.
Their selfless, inspiring actions represent our great party’s core philosophy of nation building, to ensure our continuity as an even stronger future force to be reckoned with.
This, then, is the current thrust of the UNC—an all-inclusive party which, under my leadership, will represent every facet of this nation.
We will form a Government that is an appropriate and strategic mix of youth and experience.
This will ensure that our policies and representation will leave absolutely no one behind.
Indeed, as Dr Gopeesingh said last night, succession planning is very much needed in representative politics right now As we head into a new, uncertain post Covid world, our young people must be trained in policy making and governance structures if our nation is to succeed and progress in a healthy, democratic manner.
As a leader, I would have failed our party and nation if I ignored this crucial responsibility.
Older, experienced MPs like Drs Gopeesingh and Rambachan have dedicated invaluable years towards building our great party into the powerful national force it is today; and they both still have very important contributions to make as we prepare for our impending election victory.
I therefore look forward to them lending their formidable expertise, skills and knowledge, to strategically guide our party and younger candidates in the upcoming elections.
I am also very confident that other veteran MPs will also follow their inspiring examples and voluntarily make room for some younger members, even as they also shift into other roles.
On this note, let me state that, contrary to a lot of fake news out there, the UNC is ready and gearing up in a timely fashion for the upcoming elections.
Rest assured— there is nothing secret about our screening process. It is ongoing at our large South Regional Office, where we can best adhere to the physical and social distancing regulations.
There are also many false stories out there about candidates already being chosen for certain seats. This is not true. Please do not believe mischievous and malicious propaganda at this very critical time. By next week, we will conclude our screening and the national public will then be duly informed of all our decisions.
Meanwhile, we will continue to share our numerous, innovative and progressive policies with you as we eagerly prepare to take back the reins of Government. Then, in the beautiful dawn of a new day after the darkest, most dangerous and traumatic night, the Rising Sun will restore our beloved nation to a place of hope, happiness and progress for all citizens in this, and future, generations.