Saturday, April 12, 2014

Manning praises Robinson for "significant and impactful decisions"

Patrick Manning praised former President Arthur N.R. Robinson Friday as a leader who made "significant and impactful decisions" during his tenure as both PM and head of state.
Manning was the beneficiary of one of those decisions. Robinson appointed him PM on Christmas Eve 2001 following then 18-18 tie in the general election saying the country needed a leader
who displayed high "moral and spiritual values". 

It was perhaps the most controversial decision Robinson made during his 45 years in active politics. Basdeo Panday was the prime minister and his UNC had won the higher popular voter although the PNM and UNC won 18 seats.

What became highly controversial was Robinson's justification for his decision. Many people saw it as insulting to everyone who did not share Manning's religious values.

In a brief statement, the MP for San Fernando East MP said, "He (Robinson) has secured a place in the history of this blessed nation as one who has served in public life over several decades, dedicating himself to the service of the public, and making significant and impactful decisions over his tenure, both as Prime Minister, and as President.”

He added, “(He) will be remembered for his courage and bravery in the many dire circumstances he encountered as Prime Minister, most significant of which, was the 1990 attempted coup...

“We thank God for the long and fulfilling life that he has lived in the face of the many challenges...I especially acknowledge the special place that Mr Robinson holds in the hearts of the people of Tobago, his homeland. I pray that God Almighty will comfort all who mourn at this time of loss. May his soul rest in peace."

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