President Paula-Mae Weekes

Why do we really need a President of Trinidad and Tobago anymore when after what we have seen by the performance of our president, Paula-Mae Weekes, and her handling of the outcry of citizens for her to say something on the terrible murder of Andrea Bharatt? Many citizens are asking this question more and more.

This is the perception by most citizens of Trinidad and Tobago after the president finally broke her silence on the issue on March 7, 2021.

What is the real purpose in still having this archaic ceremonial post coming out from colonial rule in replacing the governor-general post in our democratic state? What does the president really do?

President Weekes surely didn’t inspire or highlight our women‘s plight for the nation in the fight for change on this crucial topic of violence against women and its campaign that recently captured the heart and minds and continues to take our country by storm.

The president was lambasted for lingering in silence on the murder of 23-year-old Bharatt, who vanished after taking a falsified “H” taxi in Arima on January 29, with the nation holding their breath hoping against hope that she would be found alive, only to get the disturbing news that she was found dead in the Heights of Aripo on February 4.

According to Wikipedia, “The President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is the head of state of Trinidad and Tobago and the commander-in-chief of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force. The office was established when the country became a republic in 1976, before which the head of state was Queen Elizabeth II.

“The last governor-general, Sir Ellis Clarke, was sworn in as the first president on 1st August 1976 under a transitional arrangement. He was formally chosen as president by an electoral college consisting of members of both houses of Parliament on 24 September 1976, which is now celebrated as Republic Day.”

In our system the president is responsible for appointing the prime minister from the leader of the party that wins a general election with the majority of the 41 seats in the House of Representatives, and is also responsible for appointing members of the Senate on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

As a wave continues to overtake our country, we expected much more from our president to bring the spotlight to this cause and to carry the fight on her shoulders, not to remain silent and to douse the flames of this movement, not to forget Andrea’s everlasting light.

The movement across the country isn’t dying. In fact it continues to gain momentum as we still all feel a deep sense of despair that has grasped T&T for such a long time.

So many times, too many people are taken away from us and we were unable to unite like this before, in one common cause to fight against the high crime rate, against the failure of our judiciary, against our inert public institutions and our security services.

To call the police to account why a person with such a long rap sheet was still free to carry out this crime and for all institutions to just do better.

No more should we turn a blind eye to these institutions that have decayed right in front of our eyes and let us down so drastically.

Our society is shattered and not functioning and we need to reverse this, as we recognise the elephant in room, where we fight each other, and where we are constantly against each other. What a total disappointment our president has been so far on this call to arms when she could have been so much more.

We needed her beacon to help carry a message of hope to the people, that all is not lost, to bring back this hope in our society which this movement through our fallen angels has ignited a fight in each and every one of our hearts and our souls.

We wanted her to encourage us and stand by us so that we no longer ignore the problems that have plagued our society for such a long time but face it head on to bring that change that everyone cries out for.

So Madam President, no one cares what you have to say NOW on the topic since all this time has passed. Too little too late, Madam President!

Neil Gosine

Port of Spain

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