Indian-origin woman is Leader of Opposition in Trinidad and TobagoFebruary 26th, 2010 - 11:12 am ICT by IANS
By Paras Ramoutar
Port-of-Spain, Feb 26 (IANS) Indian-origin Kamla Persad-Bissessar has became the first woman Leader of the Opposition in the Trinidad and Tobago parliament, ousting former premier Basdeo Panday from the post.
Kamla was administered the oath of office here Thursday by President George Maxwell Richards at the president’s house amidst loud cheers from the seven MPs, who supported her to oust incumbent Basdeo Panday.
Panday had been Leader of the Opposition for almost 34 years, minus the six years he was prime minister.
Kamla’s ascent to the position follows elections within the opposition United National Congress (UNC) party Jan 24 when she beat her political mentor Panday ten to one in the UNC’s national elections to choose a new leader and executive.
She emerged leader much to the dismay of Panday who had set the machinery for the vote himself, but did not accept the result.
Kamla entered politics in the early 1980s when she became an alderman in the then St. Patrick County Council. She has served as a senator and then as member of parliament for Siparia.
In 1995, she became the country’s first woman attorney general when Panday formed the government and later became minister of education. She was also the first woman to act as prime minister.
Kamla became Leader of the Opposition in parliament by getting eight votes — including herself — out of the 15 MPs of the party.
Kamla has visited India on several occasions, attending the Pravasi Bharatiya conference in Hyderabad in 2006 and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meetings.
Her forefathers were among 148,000 people who came from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar between 1845 to 1917 to work on sugar plantations here.
- Ahead of Trinidad polls, Indian-origin politician threatened - May 08, 2010
- Trinidad and Tobago's Indian-origin PM survives no-trust vote - Mar 05, 2012
- Ex-Trinidad and Tobago PM faces protege in party leadership battle - Jan 05, 2010
- Indian-origin grandmother is Trinidad and Tobago's first woman PM - May 25, 2010
- Indian origin grandmother is first woman PM of Trinidad and Tobago - May 25, 2010
- Indian origin woman wins Trinidad and Tobago party poll - Jan 25, 2010
- Trinidad's Indian-origin ex-PM freed of corruption charges - Jun 28, 2012
- First Indian-origin PM of Trinidad bows out of politics - Apr 17, 2010
- Trinidad and Tobago PM chief guest at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas - Oct 27, 2011
- Kamla Persad-Bissessar, a 'Pravasi Bharatiya' on her way to India - Jan 01, 2012
- Indian-origin economist appointed Trinidad bank governor - Jul 15, 2012
- Video on Facebook page threatens Trinidad and Tobago PM - Aug 29, 2011
- Indian origin woman leader in Trinidad poll fray - Apr 18, 2010
- Trinidad PM invited for law conference in India - Jun 11, 2010
- Trinidad and Tobago celebrates Holi - Mar 12, 2012
Tags: association meetings, basdeo panday, commonwealth parliamentary association, george maxwell, indian origin, leader of opposition, leader of the opposition, loud cheers, maxwell richards, member of parliament, minister of education, national elections, political mentor, port of spain, sugar plantations, trinidad and tobago, trinidad and tobago parliament, united national congress, woman attorney, woman leader