President-elect Christine Kangaloo fields questions from the media after she singed her instrument of appointment at the Red House on January 26. – Angelo Marcelle
THE National Transformation Alliance (NTA) says president-elect Christine Kangaloo has made a step in the right direction if her call for citizens to “Give me a chance,” is genuine.
Kangaloo, who was elected President by the Electoral College on January 20, received her instrument of election from Speaker of the House of Representatives Bridgid Annisette-George, in the Red House, Port of Spain, on Thursday. She succeeds Paula-Mae Weekes and would take the oath of office in March.
Responding to questions about her ability to carry out her functions impartially, given her close ties to the ruling People’s National Movement, Kangaloo called on citizens to give her a chance.
“All I ask of the people of TT is to give me the opportunity to show you that I can perform my duties in the way the Constitution expects me to,” she told reporters.
In a statement on Saturday, signed by NTA general secretary Tim Teemal, the party said, “With her first statement in the nation’s highest independent office, Christine Kangaloo has demonstrated humility and an understanding that she is the people’s servant.”
It claimed outgoing President Paula-Mae Weekes did not adopt this posture during her tenure.
The NTA claimed many people saw Weekes as falling victim to political dictates, “it may be indeed hard to trust Kangaloo, who has previously publicly sworn allegiance to a political party.
“But we caution to not automatically demonise, and to remind the public that it is not an impossible task to separate past political allegiance, and independent and impartial service to the people.”
The party said its political leader Gary Griffith was able to take off the political hat that he wore in 2013, as minister of national security and “serve with unquestioned impartiality” during his tenure as commissioner of police from 2018-2021.
“For this reason, we at the NTA are willing to ‘give her a chance,’ but we do so with the understanding that Kangaloo must follow Griffith’s lead and place impartial service to the citizens over any political alliances and allegiances.”