A new session of the Trinidad and Tobago parliament got underway on Monday with President Paula-Mae Weekes urging legislators to put aside selfish agendas and work together in the best interest of Trinidad and Tobago.
“People you promise to serve deserve better, much better,” she said, adding that parliamentarians were the ones who pledged to uphold the law and serve, among other things.
President Weekes 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, noting that citizens see Parliament as a place of finger-pointing and ‘gallery’ and less as a place where conscious decisions are made to positively affect the lives of citizens.
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“The respect, trust and confidence that once characterized the relationship between parliamentarians and John Public have been squandered and withered away,” she 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, calling on the 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 them 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, Paula-Mae Weekes said, adding “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 this noble houses, after all that is what proper representation is all about,” she said.
The government will present the 2022-23 national budget to the Parliament on September 26.
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