T&T president chastises legislators
Port of Spain – A new session of the Trinidad & Tobago parliament started on Monday.
President Paula-Mae Weekes urged legislators to put aside selfish agendas and work together in the best interest of T&T.
“People you promise to serve deserve better, much better,” Weekes said, adding that parliamentarians were the ones who pledged to uphold the law and serve, among other things.
The president addressing the ceremonial opening of the Parliament, said it was important for the legislators to regain the trust and respect of the public in their deliberations.
Weekes noted that citizens see parliament as a place of finger-pointing and “gallerying”, and less as a place where conscious decisions are taken to positively affect the lives of citizens.
“The respect, trust and confidence that once characterised the relationship between parliamentarians and John Public has been squandered and frittered away,” the president said, adding that citizens want parliamentarians to put aside selfish agendas and work together in their best interest.
“No dispute or grievance should ever take precedence over your role,” she said, appealing for parliament to be a place of focus, selflessness, resolve, cooperation and of values that promote peace and good governance.
“Use the new session to present alternatives to a regrettable status quo,” she said, urging legislators to “resolve to put behind, squabbles and divisions and work together for the benefit of all”.
“We are a young nation to be sure, but that does not preclude a maturity of approach when it comes to politics and making decisions that affect the lives of our people, Weekes said.
“I am by no means suggesting that we do away with our spectacles and pretend our problems do not exist.
“I am merely advocating a different approach, a collaborative effort by the members of these noble houses, after all that is what proper representation is all about.”
The government will present the 2022-23 national budget to the Parliament on September 26.