Former prime minister Patrick Manning says Ken Valley was one of the modern stalwarts of the People's National Movement. Valley died yesterday morning at his home, after suffering from colon cancer.
Manning said Valley accepted his invitation to join the party, after the 33-3 defeat in the 1986 general elections in T&T. Manning said Valley was appointed as one of the first six Opposition senators appointed by the PNM. "He was extremely effective...He played a pivotal role in the intellectual renewal of the party and was indeed the author of the economic policies that the PNM adopted in 1987 and which we sustained fundamentally till 2010," Manning said in a statement issued yesterday.
He said those policies were responsible for "a return to economic growth for Trinidad and Tobago in 1992, after seven years of decline, and constituted the platform for the prosperity that the nation enjoyed in the years afterwards." He said Valley "brought into the fold so many of the urban middle-class, professionals and business people, who had turned away from the PNM in the late seventies and early eighties. "Ken helped enormously to make the PNM more attractive to a wider cross-section of citizens," he added. Manning said the people of T&T and the PNM "owe Ken Valley a great debt of gratitude."
He said he was very pleased to appoint him a deputy political leader of the PNM in 1997, a position he held very successfully for just over ten years. Manning said Valley was a "transformational minister" in three PNM administrations. The San Fernando East MP said Valley "played the key role in the rationalisation of the state enterprise sector, through which we were able to achieve greater economic efficiency as well as increased attractiveness of Trinidad and Tobago as a destination for direct foreign investment." He said: "Billions of dollars flowed into this country as a result of those efforts."