Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said she keenly awaits the day when she will greet the country’s first woman head of State. She spoke to reporters minutes after the Electoral College, sitting in Parliament, approved retired Court of Appeal judge Paula Mae Weekes as President-elect. Hailing yesterday as a great and historic day, Persad-Bissessar said, “I look forward to saying, ‘Madam President’.”
In her earlier address to the Electoral College, she said the country was ushering in a President-elect the same week it bade farewell to late former president George Maxwell Richards. Persad-Bissessar also thanked outgoing President Anthony Camona for serving TT dutifully and with dispatch, including his recent appointment of a Procurement Board to effect legislative reform.
She said Weekes is a great example to the nation’s girls.
“I am certain that today’s election of our country’s first female President will serve to inspire our girls and women. Today, our girls can find examples of women at the highest levels of our nation’s political sphere, and that is something of which we can immensely proud.”
Persad-Bissessar said she has long advocated for greater participation by women in politics and in leadership roles.
“It is our view that no society can achieve its potential until our women take up leadership roles and contribute as equals in advancing national development. Equity at all levels will enhance our democracy and ensure that our nation achieves its true potential.”
She recalled herself being TT’s first woman attorney general, first woman Opposition leader, and first woman prime minister, adding, “And by the grace of God, its second female prime minister.”
After wide consultation, the Opposition decided to support Weekes as “most suitable and deserving” of the office, given her record, experience and qualifications.