News day / OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says this country has done better than the USA, which is yet to elect a female president.

She spoke yesterday at a reception held for the country’s new President Paula-Mae Weekes, who is also its first female Head of State, at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port of Spain.

Persad-Bissessar said she welcomed Weekes with great joy and said the earlier inauguration went like clockwork. She also thanked former president Anthony Carmona for hosting. She said she was impressed with Weekes’ inaugural address. “Her passion, her commitment and her strength and of course her eloquence were so totally obvious in everything she said. She was also brutally frank and some may not be happy about that, but the fact is she recognized that at the start of her career, in terms of being brutally frank in that manner, it’s important because it augurs well for the direction she may take, the decisions she may make and the actions she may carry forward as her tenure unfolds,” Persad-Bissessar said.

The Siparia MP added she was pleased that Weekes said she would be working in a bipartisan way for all the people of the country and intends to be a President for all of Trinidad and Tobago. She described Weekes as a very impressive, powerful, passionate woman and is looking forward to her tenure with great expectation.

On the first female president, Persad-Bissessar said the country had done better than the great USA which has never had a female president in all its centuries as a nation. “T&T is way out front. Female President, Speaker of the House, Senate President and female Opposition Leader. I’m sorry guys…make way. We are coming strong and we are moving forward,” Persad-Bissesar said.

Persad-Bissessar said she looks forward to working with Weekes as Leader of the Opposition and to the day when this country has both a female president and prime minister at the same time. “Those days are not long off,” Persad-Bissessar said with a broad grin on her face. For his part, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said he was extremely proud TT has taken the step to elect its first female President. He also thanked Carmona for his service to this country over the last five years.

Cumuto/Manzanilla MP Christine Newallo-Hosein said Weekes’ address was very relevant. “We are definitely in really dark times and the little that I have heard of our newly appointed President, she is very much a practising Anglican. And so when you hear of the light, I am excited to hear that and I am excited to see our Heads of State, our heads of Government recognise that we need God in our nation and we all must work together. We can’t expect God to do it while we just sit back and do nothing,” Newallo-Hosein said.

Housing Minister Randall Mitchell thanked outgoing President Anthony Carmona for his service to the people of the country. “National service is not an easy thing to get into so we thank him first and foremost for his service to country,” Mitchell said.

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