Swearing-in of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Kamla Persad-Bissessar is sworn in by President George Maxwell Richards as the first female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

Kamla Persad-Bissessar is sworn in by President George Maxwell
Richards as the first female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

Kamla Persad-Bissessar is sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

Kamla Persad-Bissessar is sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

Kamla Persad-Bissessar is sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

Kamla Persad-Bissessar is sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar talks with the media

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar talks with the media

Percy Villafana at the swearing in ceremony
Percy Villafana at the swearing in ceremony

Swearing-in of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar: more pictures:

Speech delivered by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar at her Oath Taking ceremony at Knowsley Building, Port of Spain

May 26th, 2010

My fellow citizens…it gives me great pleasure to address you for the very first time as Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

This has been quite a journey for me. It is the summary of a life in public office that spans some 25 years but one which most people will long remember for its past five months. As you all know, I was elected on February 24th of this year as Political Leader of the UNC, and on March 24th became Leader of the Opposition and now I humbly received the honour to have been elected Prime Minister on May 24th 2010.

But that as far as I will indulge myself in personalising the sequence of events, of far greater importance is enormous responsibility I now bear along with the leadership of the People’s Partnership and our administration to address the urgent social issues at hand and move the nation forward.

Change has indeed come.

The time has arrived to open a new chapter in our nation’s history.

It’s time for all of us to stand together side by side.

Trinidad alongside Tobago.

Members and supporters of all political persuasions, citizens all, arm in arm.

Today we start the work of transforming the hope and promise of change into the reality of change.

And while we leave the euphoria and the emotion of the election behind us, what we do not stray from is the unity the election has forged.

This morning we leave the labels behind and we move forward as one nation – all committed to the same goal – a safer, more prosperous and just Trinidad and Tobago where we all have opportunity and equality.

No more labels. No more prefixes of Afro and Indo nor North and South nor East West corridors. The election is over. It was a means towards an end. Now as citizens of Trinidad and Tobago we are all beneficiaries of the mandate given by the people. This is a victory for all citizens.

Our love of country must now move to the forefront.

And we must recommit ourselves to our nation and to ourselves.

We’re not checking party cards or keeping notes on supporters lists.

The task of rebuilding Trinidad and Tobago will require the participation of everyone and you are all invited to sit at the nation’s table.
Our country has had enough of top down government. We’re going to reverse that order of things.

Throughout the campaign, we were clear about our plans.

And so today…we begin the process of making them government policy.

My fellow citizens, the task ahead of us is challenging and we need all our nation’s talent, all our nation’s wisdom, all our nation’s people on board with us.

It’s time to build a future which we can all share, hold pride in and pass on to our children with confidence.

We have been given an immense opportunity for developing Trinidad and Tobago in ways many might not have thought possible.

The abundant talent of our people in so many spheres is world renowned and we are blessed with rich natural resources. There is no reason why our nation cannot reach heights of development never seen before.

This development must not be measured in the grandeur of tall structures as an architectural manifestation of how far we have come but by the level of human development of our people, by the extent to which the needs of people have been satisfied, by the way things just work well, by the degree of safety and security that our people and the nation enjoy, by the enabling environment created for business to flourish and a renaissance of the arts and culture to emerge, by the mutual respect we hold for each other, by the level of education provided to our young ones and the quality of care given to our little children and by the success we achieve in addressing the very pressing social concerns such as poverty alleviation, domestic violence and child abuse. These are just some of the ways in which our development must be measured.

What happens from this day forward is in our hands. It is up to us.

And so the challenge before us – is to stay as one people.

We must never allow the seeds of separation to regain hold on our soil.

This afternoon, the new chapter we turn is a fresh start for all of us.

New Directions

Over the next few days I will be making the appointments of members of my cabinet following consultations with the leadership of the People’s Partnership. I promise you it will be comprised of the most competent, committed and qualified individuals.

On composition of the Cabinet my administration will bring Tobago into the core administration of government. And I formally announce this afternoon that there will be an establishment of a Ministry of Tobago Development as we look to bring our sister isle on as equal partners in the development of our twin island state.

Our administration will be addressing social and economic restructuring in the medium term as we look to fast track the changes so urgently required. We will be targeting Ministries to give an account on specific deliverables within a timeframe, as an example, food production. This will be a performance driven formula that measures results and holds those in authority accountable to meeting their goals and objectives.

Under the Office of the Prime Minister, special emphasis will be placed on restoring the dignity and effectiveness of Parliament. In this context, the Red House will remain the Seat of the Parliament.

Parliamentary oversight on key issues has gone into abeyance and in an effort to ensure Parliament is not just a rubber stamp we will be making immediate steps to institute Parliamentary reform under the Office of the Prime Minister.

The People’s Partnership government I lead will be moving towards the delivery of an early budget after candid assessments are conducted on the state of the nation’s finances and economy. The budget provisions based will be developed to give effect to the priorities of the new direction of our new government.

At the conclusion of this afternoon’s ceremony, one of my first acts as Prime Minister will be to meet with the Head of the Office of the Disaster Preparedness and Management along with the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Sandra Marchack, to discuss the current flooding in various parts of the island and the impending increased level of flooding. Arising out of those discussions, a release will be issued on the decisions arrived at and the course of action to be taken.

This situation underlines the need of our new administration to fast track all assessment and begin the process of implementing both short term and long term solutions in so many areas including those such as drainage and irrigation.

A tour of some of the affected areas has already been conducted by members of the incoming administration this morning and a report is being compiled on the needs of the affected areas.

In light of the urgency of this situation and my need to address it I will now crave your indulgence to leave hastily and do apologise for having to forego the usual formalities that accompany occasions such as this.

On behalf of the government of the People’s Partnership, may I thank you all for being here and to express once more my deepest gratitude to the people of Trinidad and Tobago for their overwhelming support.

May God Bless you all and May God Bless our nation.

56 thoughts on “Swearing-in of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar”

  1. @Mike. How many of those who suddenly found his blog to gush would have been doing so if the person who won had wolly hair. Give me a break!. This is the typical Indian pandering we saw when Panday got into power.

    Yes, she was with Panday when he pusrued an ethnic imbalanced for of Governance, and that will be trend here. Black people will continue to be used and abused until the get real and do unto people as is done unto them. Just you wait and see.

    1. Only losers like yourself would bring race into this. And since you started it let me finish…..Get a job you lazy bastard and stop stealing what is not yours. If you did an honest day’s work you would not have to steal to survive. Indians have worked very hard to build their personal wealth and it is thieves like you who refuse to put in an honest day of work that steal form them…..and complain in the process.

      1. that was and there we have it people….F. Dean, that was very helpful, wasn’t it? 🙂

    2. Trinidad and Tobago is 40% indian and 30 or 35% black, the blacks have enjoyed power for most of the last 46 years. The results have been mediocre at best disastrous at worse. I think she has a good chance as any to do a very good a job and I wish her well.

  2. Congratulations to you, Madame Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Lady Kamla Persad-Bissessar! We are so proud of you and know the Lord has raised you up for a time such as this! We pray for God’s guidance in your life in every area.
    You are not only so very intelligent but you are as beautifu, as well. Your face reflects love, kindness and compassion and that is why we all fully stand behind you and your team to help you heal our beautiful land. At long last, WE ARE RISING to our true destiny.
    May the Lord our God strengthen you for the journey is great.
    Promotion comes from the Lord. He puts one down and lifts up another. May God bless Mr. Jack Warner and all those who believe in equality and fairness. God bless all of you in Trinidad and Tobago. We love you.

  3. God bless our new, lovely and very intelligent leader of Trinidad and Tobago, Madame Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. We are so proud of you and are praying for you and your team. God bless you all.

  4. Congratulations to Madame Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
    This is a wonderful day for T&T. It is a new chapter in our history book. I wish you success in all your future endevours.God bless you and god bless Trinidad And Tobago.
    From jewan Sampath & family Queen New York

  5. For: F Dean….Shut up, Stop whining and, Get a life.(Job)

    This is a Great Day for TRINBAGO! Like it or not!

  6. Hi All,

    This is a great day for T&T. No self respecting country wants one person, one party leading them for so long. Give someone else a chance and let us see what others can do.

    God Bless our new Government and God Bless T&T


  7. Fantastic result, I maybe in London but hopefully my true home will begin to recover. Good fortune and good luck to the new government.

  8. Congratulations Madame Prime Minister. Trinidad&Tobago needed a new face and a new change.God Bless.

  9. Congratulations! Madame Prime Minister. Be a Prime Minister for all the people and do what is right within the Law of the Land. Take a page out of the U.S. President Borack Obama’s book. Remember you cannot please everybody,always watch your back AND trust no-one only believe and trust the higher being. GO WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Peace be with you!

  10. Congrats to our new PM, I wish her all the best. It is about time we get a new face. Time for change. Tired of PNM and their BS. Ms PM please work for the people.

  11. Madam PM, looking at your face, I see a caring,dedicated,loving individual, who is ready to lead the people of this wonderful nation to a new beginning. May god truly bless you, give you the health and strength to do a wonderful job without hindrance or fear, help you to overcome any obstacles that may stand in your way. You are a godsend to the people of this nation, may god richly bless you.

  12. madam you are the best I’m still young but you inspire me you are a great leader. when i got up the 25th of may 2010 i felt the difference than that devil that was there all the time. now that your people made you the pm please don’t let us down. we are counting on you for a better change. please leave no stone unturned . thank you

  13. This is one of the greatest things that will |EVER happen to our country! This is a true PRIME MINISTER! Not like the excuses we had in the past!

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