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Acting PM role surprises Coudray
Local Government Minister Marlene Coudray says she feels privileged to be appointed to act as Prime Minister during the absence of Kamla Persad-Bissessar from the country.
“It is a privilege to be the first senator to be chosen to act,” she said a telephone interview at her Kent House, Port-of-Spain offices, yesterday, hours after Persad-Bissessar announced that she would hold on for her. Coudray was the surprise choice of Persad-Bissessar to act during her visit to South Africa, where she is leading the T&T and Caricom teams at the memorial service for former South Africa president Nelson Mandela and the laying in state of his body today.
Mandela died at his Johannesburg home on Thursday night after ailing for several months. Since assuming office in May 2010, Persad-Bissessar has normally appointed either the chairman of her United National Congress party (then Jack Warner) or the leaders of the other coalition parties of the People’s Partnership Government to act in her absence. However, in recent months, Persad-Bissessar has been selecting deputy political leaders of the UNC to act.
Housing Minister Dr Moonilal, who is a deputy leader of the party, acted in October. The other deputy leader of the UNC is Works and Infrastructure Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan. Yesterday, Coudray said she never expected to be given that responsibility but she accepted and was prepared to serve well. She added she did not intend to “get excited but to remain calm and take things in stride.” She said she was “in Kent House and I am doing my work (Local Government) as normal, plus any other things that come up.”
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