Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said she was moved to tears over Tabaquite MP Suruj Rambachan's decision to bow out of electoral politics.
Persad-Bissessar paid tribute to Rambachan saying he willingly cleared the way for new leaders as she hinted that she will be dropping the axe on those in the United National Congress (UNC) to breathe new life into the party.
The Express understands that Persad-Bissessar is aiming to present a new team to the electorate, of young as well as experienced politicians to battle the 2020 general election.
Speaking at the Gasparillo Government secondary school on Tuesday, Persad-Bissessar said the party cannot go forward with the "same old".
"Sometimes it hurts and I know I will have to make some choices that will be very painful to me and to many others and that's why i honour, respect that Suruj has created that opportunity to open the space to allow me to do what I know I must do. But i remind you in the UNC there is space for everyone," she said.
She praised Rambachan for taking a decision which supports her vision.
"Suruj I thank you, he understands well my vision, my philosophy to take our nation forward which is we must marry the experience of the elder with the youth of our nation to bring about a new generation of leaders in Trindad and Tobago," she said.
The former Prime Minister also paid tribute to Rambachan's wife Nandini and children Ranjana and Adi.
She said Rambachan has dedicated his life to public service and has spent close to 50 years serving the people making his mark in several fields- in Local Government as chairman of the St Patrick county council, Chaguanas mayor and former Local Government Minister.
She boasted he was also one of the best Works Minister this country has ever seen.
"And so whilst I heard you speaking and I'm watching Nandini and Ranjana, i felt sad, with some tears, we must feel sad when a brother says look I give you the leeway, i give you the room and the space to create the future generations but I will continue to work with all of you, so tears and sadness," she said.
Rambachan, who was elected Tabaquite MP since 2010 and re-elected in 2015 announced that he will not seek another term.
He said his new role will be to mentor the youth and serve as an elder.
"There those who will say good riddance to Rambachan. There are those who will say don't leave but I will be an elder statesman I am giving rebirth to my political party and the wisdom of my experience in public life will be given to the new generation of leaders," he said
He admitted he had differences with Persad-Bissessar but he continues to support her.
"I have had my battles with the leadership, with our Political Leader, with colleagues but I have always tried to fight inside not in the public. I believe that conversations lead to conversion and that politics is still about the art of compromise without relinquishing with your essential life values, " Rambachan revealed.
"You must also be prepared to move on if the disagreements are beyond compromise. I want to assure you that my decision to redefine my role in the politics of my country and more particularly in the future of my party has nothing to do with disaffection or disappointments in my leader nor of any fundamental differences with my colleagues," be added.