Persad Bissessar sworn in as Trinidad-Tobago’s opposition leader


Kamla Persad-Bissessar

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad  – Sixty-seven-year-old Kamla Persad Bissessar was sworn in as the opposition leader here on Tuesday, promising to lead a “formidable” team that would work in the best interest of Trinidad and Tobago.

Persad Bissessar, who led the main opposition United National Congress (UNC) in the August 10 general election, said that the opposition would seek to provide support for Trinidad and Tobago’s development both inside and out of the Parliament, which is due to hold its first session here  tomorrow.

But she warned that “my colleagues and I will no longer be used as an excuse for poor governance and poor performance.

“We will not be painted as obstructionists but I tell you we pledge to work in the best interest of all the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” she said, adding “we will stand strong and resolute in commitment to a better Trinidad and Tobago.

She said Trinidad and Tobago and indeed the world are facing “dark times” as a result of the coronavirus, “and all I can say is let us pledge to work together” promising that the opposition will make its contribution to the socio-economic development of the oil rich twin island republic.

She said that the population had become more informed, more vocal on national issues, “and whilst we may not always agree with the manner in which things are expressed, I am encouraged that our societies demonstrate in the power of the people that the power of the people is stronger than the people in power”.

The UNC was defeated by a 22-19 margin by the ruling People’s National Movement in the general election, and Persad Bissessar took more than a week before conceding defeat after her party challenged the outcome of the results in five constituencies.