• 24 SEP 2018

Republic Day Message

Fellow Citizens,

Today we mark 42 years since Parliament first met under our new Republican Constitution.

As I reflect on that first sitting, I am again reminded of the weighty responsibility entrusted to all of us who represent our beloved nation in that esteemed place.

I would like to take this opportunity to urge all citizens to demonstrate a keen interest in our Parliamentary proceedings. Persons either elected or appointed to sit here make decisions that have a profound impact on all our lives.

Elected officials ought to make representation on your behalf and act in a way that ensures that your individual rights are protected and that the interests of the national community are served. In this vein, the choice of persons who serve in Opposition are as equally important as those who serve in Government.

A Republican form of Government is a system whereby citizens rule through their elected representatives. It is therefore paramount that we are closely attuned to the nature of the general representation we are afforded and more specifically to the way this representation is exercised in the Parliament.

In 2006 the Parliament began televising its proceedings via a dedicated television channel. Online streaming began shortly thereafter.

This was an important step in ensuring that you are regularly updated on matters of national interest. We cannot hold our leaders to account if we are ignorant to the quality of their representation.

A truly Republican state requires the involvement of all us working together to protect and maintain the fundamental human rights and freedoms that have been entrenched in the Constitution.

On behalf of my Government and my family I wish all the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago a safe and happy Republic Day 2018.

Dr Keith Rowley

Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago