Nominations for People’s National Movement San Fernando East constituency closes today but many party loyalists are sad that the tenure of T&T’s longest serving MP, Patrick Manning, would final
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Manning back in House tomorrow
Almost two years after San Fernando East MP Patrick Manning suffered a mild stroke, he is expected to return to Parliament tomorrow for its first sitting in the new year. He has been on extended sick leave for almost two years of the current session. He fell ill at his constituency office on Coffee Street, San Fernando, on January 23, 2012 and later in the night he suffered the stroke. He was taken to San Fernando General Hospital and days later he went to Washington, DC, for further treatment, including physiotherapy.
He returned home in August but days later he suffered a seizure and was hospitalised again at San Fernando for two days. On April 10, 2013 rumours circulated that Manning had died. After denying the claim, Manning made a high-profile trip to Port-of-Spain to buy a shirt to attend a church service. He continued his physiotherapy at the Augustus Long Hospital, Pointe-a-Pierre, for several months. He requested extended sick leave, which was granted by Speaker Wade Mark.
The work at his constituency office was handled by staff and he visited on certain days to meet with constituents. Yesterday Manning used social media to inform the public of his return to Parliament tomorrow. “Back to work. See you in Parliament on Friday,” he posted on Facebook and Twitter.
Manning was said to have improved significantly in the past few months and tomorrow afternoon was expected to occupy a new seat in Parliament, behind Opposition Whip Marlene Mc Donald. He previously sat in the last seat on the 12-seat Opposition front bench. Former Opposition Senator Terrence Deyalsingh was elected the 13th PNM MP in Parliament on November 4, having won the St Joseph by-election. Manning said he would quit politics at the end of next year’s current term.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley have repeatedly wished Manning a speedy recovery and return to Parliament. Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Monomial, said he would be happy to receive his own MP to the House after a long stay away due to illness. In a two line e-mail comment, Moonilal said he was “looking forward to his usual incisive contributions after such a vacuous and uninspired period under Dr Rowley.”