I think we have a President, was the comment of Chief Secretary Orville London following the inauguration of Justice Anthony T A Carmona at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Monday.
Speaking to reporters at his Calder Hall office on Tuesday (March 19 2013) London said he was impressed and heartened by his first address.
London added: I think the vast majority of the people who were at the stadium left feeling that we would have again made an excellent choice for president. In retrospect I think this country has been very very fortunate in its choice of president; maybe we seem to get the best president for the time and maybe at this point in time we need that type of president.”
He said Carmona came over very presidential, an individual with high ideals but who was pragmatic and who had his feet on the ground, an individual who came over as being strong, courageous, with very little bolster but a lot of substance. “I think he sends a very strong signal that he is going to be a president whose primary responsibility will be to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and that he will protect the Constitution and the rights of the people against anybody,” London said.
London said the President signalled that he was going to be his own man and that he was not going to be prepared to allow anybody to bully him or to inveigle him into doing anything that goes against what he considered to be the best for the country.
He said Carmona didn’t pander to any side, he didn’t try to come off as a populace president saying all the nice things, he wasn’t afraid to send a signal to the people of the country that they have to buck up, that they have to become introspective, they have to improve, they have to take responsibility and it is that pragmatism, that combination of high ideals and pragmatism that he found most impressive. He added that at no point in time did Carmona just come over as somebody spouting platitudes. “I think there was a realistic approach, he recognised everybody’s strengths and shortcomings and he sought to have made that appeal.
London described Carmona as quite an orator saying that it was not just what he said but the manner in which he said it. He said for somebody who was not a public figure, making public speeches he thought the tenor of his voice came across as somebody who was going to be an excellent commentator.
The Chief Secretary said he wanted to take the opportunity on behalf of the people of Tobago to extend not only his congratulations to the new president but also best wishes to the outgoing president Professor George Maxwell Richards and his wife. “In his own way he has made a significant contribution to the stability of the country and also brought a great degree of balance and commanded dignity and respect in his tenure. I don’t think we should allow the euphoria of the new president make us forget the contributions of the previous president,” London said.