The New Generation of Politicians. Will they deliver?
“Allyuh vote yet?” “Make sure and go and vote yuh know!”
At this time last week, these words were on the tip of every Trinbagonian’s tongue. Photos of ink-stained fingers were constantly being posted on Facebook, and Twitter was abuzz with excitement and anticipation. Election parties went into the wee hours of the morning, and the streets were filled with celebration by supporters of the People’s Partnership, as the party won 29 of the 41 seats contested. Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar had made history by becoming the country’s first, female Prime Minister, and while numerous faces in the People’s Partnership were not new, it was interesting to see the young faces, on both sides of the political fence, mixing with their more experienced counterparts, to form the country’s new administration.
This election showed the maturing of our people and also highlighted the fact that a large number of younger persons were getting actively involved in the politics of the country. In the first issue of Outlish, we asked the question, “Do you think young Government Ministers will make a difference?” With young politicians playing a varied role in the current Government and Parliament, the natural question now is, will they be the breath of fresh air we’re looking for? Will they deliver, and meet our expectations? Here we take a look at the young MPs and senators, who will certainly be under great scrutiny, as the new Government moves forward.
Dr. Glenn Ramadharsingh (UNC) is the new MP for the constituency of Caroni Central. He is an academic and youth leader. He was appointed Minister of the People and Social Development. Dr. Ramadharsingh served as an Opposition Senator during the 8th Republican Parliament and as a Temporary Senator during the 9th Republican Parliament. Dr. Ramadharsingh is a veterinarian, and was President of the Student’s Guild (1999-2000) at the University of the West Indies (St. Augustine campus).
Ramona Ramdial (UNC), 30, taught at the Vishnu Boys’ College prior to the General Elections. She contested and won the Couva North seat. Interestingly, this seat was previously held by Basdeo Panday, the former leader of the United National Congress, for 30 years. She was elected the MP for the area. She is now the Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Planning.
Collin Partap (UNC) is familiar with politics. His father, Harry Partap, was the incumbent MP for the Cumuto/ Manzanilla, and had been a UNC MP since 1995. The younger Partap is an attorney, and was elected as the UNC’s Policy and Strategy Officer in the Persad-Bissessar-led national executive. He was appointed a Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Anil Roberts (COP), 37, is no stranger to Trinbagonians, as he gained popularity as the popular talkshow ‘Spalk’, a ‘sports’ and ‘talk’ programme, which airs on Gayelle The Channel, and is a well known swimming coach , having worked with swimmers like George Bovell III and Nicholas Bovell. He recently completed his Masters in Business Administration. Roberts is the new Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs. He already has experience in working with this Ministry, as he was an advisor to a previous Minister of Sport, Roger Boynes.
Stacy Roopnarine (UNC) was probably the youngest candidate in the 2010 General Elections, contesting the Oropouche West constituency at the age of 25. She holds a BSc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine, and worked as an engineer with Digicel. She is the Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.
Anand Ramlogan is an attorney and a well known human right’s activist. Although he contested the previous General Elections, he did not contest a seat in the 2010 general elections. He was appointed the country’s newest Attorney General. At the age of 37, he is also the country’s youngest AG.
People’s National Movement
Alicia Hospedales holds a BSc. in Social Work and an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She is currently working on her PhD. Hospedales first became a Member of Parliament in 2007 for the seat of Arouca/ Maloney, and served as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Development. She retained her seat in the 2010 elections.
Dr. Amery Browne was screened by the PNM to replace Dr. Kenneth Valley, the then MP for Diego Martin Central, in 2007, moving on to win the seat. He held the post of Minister of Social Development in the previous administration. Dr. Browne is a well known HIV specialist, and was the technical director of the Secretariat of the National HIV/AIDS Coordinating Committee.
Image credit: Appearing in photo Stacy Roopnarine. Sourced from the candidate’s Facebook page.