Vasant Bharath made it clear on Sunday that he fully supports Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and he has no desire to challenge her for the leadership of the United National Congress (UNC).
The party's internal election is supposed to be held this year and all posts on the national executive would be open, including that of the political leader.
Persad-Bissessar first won election as leader on January 24, 2010. The leadership election was supposed to be last year but it was postponed. The rest of the national executive was elected in 2012. Under the party's constitution the election of the leader is held every three years and the election of other members of the executive is every two years.
There was speculation that Bharath was preparing to run against his leader based on a newspaper story. However Bharath cleared up the matter at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port of Spain, where the government launched a week of prayer.
"I have no such intentions," he told reporters. "The story is purely concocted, I assume, by someone or those who wish to create mischief," he added.
Bharath said those behind the story are "merchants of mischief" who are attempting "to divert the Government from its course of rebuilding this country."
The trade minister was emphatic that the story was false. "There is no truth to the story. I want to assure the entire country that once Kamla Persad-Bissesar is there she has my complete and total support as leader of the party. Anyone will tell you there is no leadership issue, no vacancy for leader as far as we are concerned,” he said.