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First female president of Trinidad and Tobago sworn in

PRESIDENT: Paula-Mae Weekes is Trinidad and Tobago's first female president (Image source: Twitter)

PAULA-MAE Weekes was sworn in as the first female president of Trinidad and Tobago this week.

On Monday, in a ceremony in front of a large crowd at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Weekes took the oath of office and gave her first speech as president.

Speaking to the crowd, Weekes addressed negative comments made about Trinidad and Tobago and shared her vision for the nation’s future.

She said: “They tell us that T&T is perilously close to the point of no return - crime, corruption, racism, abysmal public services and an ineffective judicial system, among other problems are so thick on the ground that all hope is lost; that we will soon be, if we are not already there, a failed state, however defined.”

She told the crowd that she believed the Caribbean nation’s citizens had two choices – to either “lament, blame, criticise and allow a miasma of despair to overwhelm us” or to “consciously and intentionally choose the alternative”.

Weekes added: “It is my mission, mission entirely possible, to infect each and every one of you with a bright and positive spirit as we strive to turn our beloved nation into what it ought to have been and still can be.”

Maxine Williams, Facebook’s global chief diversity officer, shared her well wishes for Weekes.

Williams, who hails from Trinidad and Tobago, wrote on Facebook: “Congratulations to President Paula-Mae Weekes, the first woman to hold the office in Trinidad and Tobago. The thing about ‘firsts’ is that they are bittersweet.”

Weekes is Trinidad and Tobago’s sixth president. She previously worked as an attorney in the country’s director of public prosecutions office. She takes over from former president Anthony Carmona.

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