President-elect Christine Kangaloo will be inaugurated as this country’s seventh President from 10.20 am at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, today, bringing down the curtains on outgoing President Paula-Mae Weekes’ term.
The transition should not be a tough one for Kangaloo, who served as acting President on several occasions during Weekes’ time in office. She was re-elected President of the Senate in August 2021, following the 2020 General Election and was first elected to this position in September 2015, following the 2015 General Election.
Her ascension to the apolitical office follows over two decades in public service after being appointed an Opposition Senator in 2001.
When nominated by the People’s National Movement for the position of President in January, however, the UNC objected to what it termed a ‘political appointee’ and nominated Israel Khan SC as its nominee.
Kangaloo subsequently convincingly won the election to become President, securing 66 per cent of the vote. She received 48 votes against 22 votes for the UNC nominee, with three spoiled ballots.
Outgoing President Weekes told Guardian Media in an interview last week that she was delighted another female will succeed her.
Weekes said, “I think the two female Presidents back-to-back certainly will place a stamp on Trinidad and Tobago and in all fields of endeavour, young women will no longer be considering whether male or female has anything to do with their aspirations and their eventual careers, professions and lives.”
Asked what her final message to the people of T&T was, Weekes said, “It was an honour and privilege to serve you, and serve you I did to the best of my ability. I have not lost to the Pollyanna I came to office with and despite all of our challenges and all of our ills, I remain convinced that together we can make Trinidad and Tobago the place we want it to be. We may go through some more trials before we get there but get there we will.”
When she was nominated, Kangaloo said she was humbled and ready to serve T&T.
“Now that the election is over, I look forward to serving our country in the only way I know how—with love for all and with an unwavering belief in the innate goodness of our people,” Kangaloo said then.