Kangaloo for President

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

PRESIDENT of the Senate Christine Kangaloo is set to become the next President of Trinidad and Tobago.

She will become the second female president of the country following President Paula-Mae Weekes whose five-year term officially ends on March 20, 2023, as Trinidad and Tobago’s seventh president.


Kangaloo, who has served as President of the Upper House for seven years, since the People’s National Movement (PNM) came into government has also acted as President of T&T on numerous occasions.

At a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley made the announcement having high praises for the longstanding PNM member who has served party and country at various levels.

Dr Rowley said, “She has never had a scandal. She has never had to get up and apologise in Parliament for misleading the Parliament. She has never had to explain her qualifications as being fraudulent. She never had any of those kinds of things. She had a very straightforward service pathway to this selection.”  


He said by law, it was required that upon being elected, she will have to vacate her parliamentary position and that will be dealt with by proper legal guidance.

A new President of the Senate will have to be elected when the time arises.

He also said, “Being a parliamentarian does not disqualify you from being a nominee.”

In fact, it was a plus, Dr Rowley said.


“I am not one to disqualify people on the bias that they are active politicians,” he also said.

According to the Constitution which allows for the Senate President to act as President, Dr Rowley said, “Anyone who wants to disregard that now and she is not qualified for whatever reason, just understand that those who wrote the Constitution said, if you are able to properly discharge the responsibilities as President of the Senate, then you should be able to discharge as President.”

Senate President Christine Kangaloo, right, and House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George. AZP News/Azlan Mohammed

Dr Rowley also expressed thanks to President Weekes whom, he said, had previously indicated that she would only serve one term having come out of retirement to serve in the position.

According to Dr Rowley, Weekes served her term well.

Kangaloo was the Government’s choice which was made known formally to the Opposition during a meeting at the Diplomatic Centre prior to the announcement.

Opposition members indicated that they would need additional time to consider Kangaloo’s recommendation.


Dr Rowley said he informed the Opposition that the Government members would put their signatures on seven of the 12 slots available on the relevant document and will await the Opposition’s support in signing the form by Monday even if they may have reservations.

“We are better off if we can go to the Parliament with some semblance or element of consensus,” he said.

Meeting at the Diplomatic Centre: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, leads his team of Minister of Housing and Urban Development Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Energy and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young. Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has with her Opposition Chief Whip David Lee and Opposition Senator Wade Mark. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister.

If that could not take place, then the Government would have no choice but to fill out all 12 slots.

Based on the Constitution, the nominee has to be elected by members of Parliament by January 10, 2023 and would take office from March 21, 2023.

“All things being equal, the country would have transitioned from one President to another,” Dr Rowley said.

More about Kangaloo 

According to the Parliament’s website, Kangaloo is an alumna of the University of the West Indies and the Hugh Wooding Law School. She is an attorney by profession, having been admitted into practice in 1985, and was attached to the southern legal team of Hobsons. 

Kangaloo was appointed an Opposition Senator in 2001 (6th Parliament) and Vice-President of the Senate in 2002 (7th Parliament). 

Senate President Christine Kangaloo, right, and House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George

In the 8th Parliament, she was appointed Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Social Delivery in October 2002 and from May 2005 to November 2007, held the portfolio of Minister of Legal Affairs. 

In November 2007, following the General Election in which she was elected to the House of Representatives, Kangaloo was appointed Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education. 

She comes from a prominent San Fernando family with her father Carlyle Kangaloo, a lawyer, serving as mayor of the city in the early 1970s.

Kangaloo’s brothers Wendell, Colin and Keith also pursued law. Wendell, became a court of appeal judge, and lost his life after sustaining injuries in a vehicular accident in 2013.

Her husband Kerywn Garcia is also an attorney.


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