Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Manning sworn in as PM; Panday announces he'll quit
Observer Reporter
Thursday, October 10, 2002



PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad -- Patrick Manning was sworn in yesterday as the seventh prime minister of post-independence Trinidad and Tobago, about two hours after his arch rival, ex-prime minister Basdeo Panday announced he would resign as leader of the main opposition United National Congress (UNC).

"I am 69 1/2, and I had made a promise to myself to go out at 70," Panday said at his party headquarters in Couva, 25 miles (40 kilometres) south of Port-of-Spain, the capital.

Panday made the announcement at a meeting of the UNC's national executive, parliamentary caucus and other key party figures who persuaded him to remain in his position and assume the role of opposition leader for the time being.

A "transition team" has been appointed to search for a candidate to lead the UNC leader and to arrange for a special General Assembly of the party to vote on the position.

Manning, whose People's National Movement (PNM) won Monday's general elections with a 20-16 majority, said his government aims for "a more sustained basis for a relationship between the various ethnic groups".