Former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning has bowed out of politics after serving as a Member of Parliament (MP) for 43 years.
Manning’s history-making tenure as the longest serving MP for the constituency of San Fernando East in the Southern City of T&T came to a premature end when 36-year-old attorney Randall Mitchell was named as his successor and the candidate for the 2015 general election following the screening of candidates at the People’s National Movement (PNM) San Fernando East constituency last week.
The former prime minister sent a letter to Dr. Rowley indicating that if his health had improved and he is healed he can face the screening committee.
“In the foregoing context it is now clear that although there has been some improvement of my condition, my health has not improved sufficiently. I therefore bow out of politics under the circumstances. It is for this reason that I did not face the screening committee,” he said.
Manning, 69, was the fourth prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago from December 1991 to 1995 and again from December 2001 to May 2006.
He was also political leader of the PNM from 1987 to 2010 when he called a snap general election and his party lost to the Kamla Persad-Bissessar led coalition People’s Partnership Party (PP).
The PP won 29 seats in the 41-seat House of Representative. Manning resigned as political leader of the PNM a few days later.
But, Manning retained his San Fernando East seat, which he held for 27 years. His nemesis Dr. Keith Rowley was voted as the new PNM leader last year.
Two years ago Manning suffered a stroke and had to seek treatment in the United States.
He was leader of the opposition from 1986 to 1990 and again from 1995 to 2001.
When the PNM lost the General Election in 1986, Manning was one of three PNM candidates who retained their seats. He became leader of the opposition and within two months he was elected to the post of political leader of the PNM.
In 1991 he was appointed prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago. He would again serve as prime minister in 2001, 2002 and 2007.