Kamla Persad-Bissessar was gracious in victory Sunday night and opened her arms to welcome all those who campaigned against her in the internal election of the United National Congress (UNC).
In a brief address, she said: "I am your servant. I accept the assignment you now place in my hands. And I pledge that I will never let you down." She said she was deeply humbled and told UNC members a new journey begins now.
"And I call on everyone tonight to unite as one family – because that is what we are, one family – and let us begin the crucial task of rebuilding our party.
"And then we will extend our loving hand across the nation and embrace everyone and invite them to join our crusade for justice, equality and love.
"I know some of you have lost hope, but I am here to tell you that the flame you kindled today with the trust you have place in me and my colleagues will grow into an inferno that will burn away the darkness and let the Rising sun shine again.
"I have always told you that I put the Lord in front and walk behind. Today we have walked with the Lord and we have done the righteous thing.
"Let us work together to build a fairer, more prosperous Trinidad and Tobago where all of us can live in harmony; no matter what our backgrounds, this is our home. We are one nation with one destiny.
"I have said it before and I repeat it: There is no PNM Trinidad and Tobago; there is no COP Trinidad and Tobago and there is no UNC Trinidad and Tobago. There is only one Trinidad and Tobago.
"Our nation is going through its darkest hour and we must come to its rescue and do what is right to arrest the continuing decline.
"I say to you tonight, there is no PNM way or UNC way to heal a sick child; there is no partisan way to help a single mother who is working day and night to feed her hungry children. There is no THEM and US; just US.
"All of us make up one nation, one family. That is how God meant it to be and that is how it will be under my leadership.
"To my opponents, I say again, this was not about us but about the future of this nation. And I invite you to join us in the revolution that begins NOW.
"We need you as much as we need every member to spread the message of hope for a better tomorrow. Let us embrace change and we will get out of opposition and remove the Manning regime whenever Manning chooses to call an election.
"All families have differences and in the heat of political campaigning people say things that offend. But as a mother, wife, sister and daughter, I know how to forgive.
"And I want you to know that I hold no animosity toward you. Let us embrace for the national good and work together to rebuild our divided party and win the next election.
"I do not know all the answers and none of us does, but together we will meet and talk and hold consultations and we will bridge the gaps and present a winning platform that will benefit everyone in this country.
"Because I know that none of us is as wise as all of us; none of us is as strong as all of us.
"We all have the same concerns and the same dreams. We want to rid this country of the plague that has descended on it, and we want to create a new society in which each of us can blossom and grow.
"This victory is your victory and the nation’s victory," she said.