Mickela Panday: ‘I will continue Dad’s legacy’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Mickela Panday. – File photo by Yvonne WebbP

MICKELA Panday has promised to continue the political legacy of her father, former prime minister Basdeo Panday.

She did so in a video posted on her Facebook page on January 28.

Panday, 90, died in the US on January 1. He had gone there in mid-December for medical treatment.

In the video, Mickela said, “As a young man it was my father’s dream to see our country united. It was a struggle that he never gave up on.”

She recalled that throughout his career in public life, Panday worked tirelessly to improve the conditions of the poor and the powerless, achieve equality for all, end discrimination, educate young people and empower women.

“It is this belief, the willingness to always put country before self and party, that made him a true, humble, iconic patriot.”

Mickela said the Panday family has been moved by the outpouring of love and support they received from so many people when her father died.

She added that equally moving were the thanks from people locally, regionally and internationally for Panday’s nation-building efforts.

Mickela also thanked “all MPs and senators on both sides of the political divide who took the time to remember father’s outstanding political career and to show Dad the respect he deserved.”

She said she had her own thanks and a promise to give to her father.

“Thank you to my dad and pledging to continue his legacy.”

Mickela did not explain how she would do the latter.

In a video message played at Panday’s state funeral at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando on January 9, his longtime friend and political colleague John Humphrey disclosed that Panday had entrusted Mickela’s political ambitions to him.

“This I will do until the day the Creator calls me.”

Mickela is the political leader of the Patriotic Front (PF). In June 2020, she signalled the PF would contest all 41 seats in the general election in August that year.

Panday was the party’s campaign manager.

The PF pulled out of the election a month later. At that time, Mickela said the timing made it impossible for the PF to run the campaign it would have liked to.

She was certain Panday would have been moved by the unprecedented, united outpouring of love from people of all ages, gender, colour, creed and political affiliation who paid tribute to him

Mickela said it reaffirmed something Panday always believed: “Despite our differences, there is more that unites us than divides us.”