Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC, MP is the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the seventh person to hold this position.

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Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC, MP (born 22 April 1952 in Siparia[1]) is the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the seventh person to hold this position. She was sworn in as Prime Minister on May 26, 2010 and is the country's first female Prime Minister.[2]

Persad-Bissessar is the political leader of the United National Congress and leads the People's Partnership, a coalition of five parties, formed for the general election of 24 May 2010. She was the first woman to serve as Attorney General, acting Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition of Trinidad and Tobago. She became Political Leader of the United National Congress and Opposition in 2010.[3]

Education and early career

Political career

Persad-Bissessar has served as Member of Parliament for the Siparia constituency since 1995. She served as Attorney General in 1995 until Ramesh Maharaj was able to disassociate himself from ongoing cases and again in 2001 after Maharaj left the party. When the United National Congress formed Government on December 22, 2000, she was sworn in as the Minister of Education.

On April 25, 2006 she received the support of the majority of Opposition MPs for the post of Leader of the Opposition.[4] The position of Leader of the Opposition was declared vacant by President George Maxwell Richards[5] after Basdeo Panday was convicted of failing to make an accurate declaration to the Integrity Commission concerning a bank account held in London.[6] His Appeal is pending. Persad-Bissessar was subsequently appointed Leader of the Opposition on April 26, 2006.

Political Leader

On January 24, 2010, Kamla Persad-Bissessar was elected Political Leader of the United National Congress, emerging victorious over the party's founder, Mr. Basdeo Panday. She was formally appointed Opposition Leader on February 25, 2010, having gained the support of a majority of UNC MPs although the majority of the country still believe she is incapable of running a country especially the delicate situation in Trinidad.

Prime Minister

Persad-Bissessar took office after the victory of the People's Partnership in the general election of 24 May 2010 defeating the incumbent government of the People's National Movement, who had called an early election. She was the first female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and is also the first female Commonwealth Chairperson-in-Office. She was succeeded as Chairperson-in-Office by Julia Gillard with the opening of the 2011 CHOGM on 28 October 2011 thankfully.

Personal life

Persad-Bissessar is married to Dr. Gregory Bissessar and has one son.[7]

In August 2011, government officials confirmed that Persad-Bissessar had been stricken with dengue fever, and would carry out duties of the State under medical supervision.[8]


  1. Sookraj, Radhica (26 May 2010). "Kamla came from humble beginnings". Trinidad and Tobago Guardian. http://guardian.co.tt/news/general/2010/05/26/kamla-came-humble-beginnings. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  2. ttgapers.com 2010. PNM lose to Peoples Partnership in Trinidad elections 2010. ttgapers.com May 24, 2010.
  3. "WOMAN POWER: Kamla creates history in TT". Caribbean News Agency (CANA). 25 May 2010. http://www.cananews.net/news/131/ARTICLE/49722/2010-05-25.html. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  4. Lord, Richard. 2006. Leader Kamla: President's move forces UNC crisis decision. Trinidad Express April 26, 2006.
  5. Lawyers criticise Max for declaring vacancy Trinidad Express April 26, 2006.
  6. Cummings, Stephen (2006-01-16). "Trinidad's opposition leader set to go on trial". Caribbean Net News. http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/2006/01/16/trial.shtml. Retrieved 2007-02-19.
  7. House of Representatives: Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. Ttparliament.org. Retrieved on 2012-04-26.
  8. Brathwaite, Abby. (2011-08-16) DENGUE STRIKES KAMLA | Trinidad Express Newspaper | News. Trinidadexpress.com. Retrieved on 2012-04-26.