T&T: Manning says he’s “sorry”
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Eighteen months after he was voted out of office in a snap general election, Patrick Manning Friday broke his long silence and apologized to those whom he may have “hurt or disenfranchised” while he served as head of a government in Trinidad and Tobago.
Manning had remained silent on national issues ever since he led the People’s National Movement (PNM) into defeat on May 24 last year, in a general election he called more than two years ahead of the constitutional deadline.
But speaking at a news conference at his San Fernando East constituency, south of here, Manning, 65, said he had been deliberately silent and that he was not a “perfect” leader and as a result his apology to those who felt hurt “or otherwise disenfranchised by actions we would have taken or actions taken by the government…
“So I think it is an appropriate time for me to apologise to all of those who feel or felt disenfranchised by any action that I may have taken over the years as prime minister or in any other capacity.
“I wish to humbly apologise to all of them and to say to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, I am sorry,” he told reporters saying also that he had avoided attending party functions or making statements so as not to undermine the new PNM leader, Dr. Keith Rowley.
“Since there is a new leader of the PNM I could not continue to conduct my business as if though no change had taken place. Significant change had indeed taken place and therefore decided I will be silent for a while seeking to do nothing that will appear to undermine the authority of our new leader or in any way seek to detract from the efforts that he will undoubtedly will make to chart his own course”.
Manning, the longest serving parliamentarian and who led governments in 1990-95 and 2001-2009, said he would be using news conferences to speak on matters of national importance.
During his news conference, he said that while he is still of the opinion that ‘the future of this country is extremely bright” he did not believe the present People’s Partnership coalition had the capacity to move the country forward.
“Things are going to get significantly worse before they get better,” said Manning, who lost general elections on two occasions he called a snap poll.