Patrick Manning: Wikis

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Patrick Augustus Mervyn Manning

Manning in 2008

Incumbent
Assumed office 
24 December 2001
President Arthur Robinson
George Maxwell Richards
Preceded by Basdeo Panday
In office
17 December 1991 – 09 November 1995
President Noor Hassanali
Preceded by Arthur Robinson
Succeeded by Basdeo Panday

Born 17 August 1946 (1946-08-17) (age 63)
San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago
Political party PNM
Spouse(s) Hazel Manning
Religion Anglican

Patrick Manning (born 17 August 1945) is the current Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the Political Leader of the People's National Movement (PNM). He served as Prime Minister from 17 December 1991 to 9 November 1995 and has held that office again since 24 December 2001; he was also the Leader of the Opposition from 1986 to 1990 and from 1995 to 2001. He has been the Political Leader of the PNM since 1987. A geologist by training, Manning has served as Member of Parliament for the San Fernando East constituency since 1971 and is currently the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives.[1]

Manning received his secondary education at Presentation College, San Fernando Bachelor's Degree from the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica in 1969. After graduation he returned to Trinidad where he worked as a geologist for Texaco. He entered Parliament in 1971 representing the San Fernando East constituency.[1]

Contents

Life

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Early career

After graduating from the University of the West Indies, Manning worked as a geologist with Texaco Trinidad Ltd., until he ran for Parliament in 1971. Between 1971 and 1978 he served as Parliamentary Secretary in various Ministries before being appointed junior Minister in the Ministry of Finance. In 1979 he was given the additional position of junior Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister. In 1981 he was given a full Cabinet position of Minister of Information and Minister of Industry and Commerce. Between 1981 and 1986 he served as Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.[1]

The 1986 General Elections the ruling PNM suffered an almost total defeat. Only three candidates won their seats; the Prime Minister, George Chambers was among the losing candidates. As one of the three successful PNM candidates, Manning was appointed Leader of the Opposition. In 1987 he was elected Political Leader of the PNM. A split in the ruling National Alliance for Reconstruction in 1988 left the PNM as the minority Opposition party, and in 1990 Basdeo Panday requested that he be appointed Leader of the Opposition.[2].

Second term as Prime Minister

In 1995, Manning called a General Election one full year before it was constitutionally due. In this election both the PNM and the UNC won 17 seats each and the NAR won 2 seats. The UNC and the NAR united in a coalition and formed the government, Basdeo Panday replaced Manning as Prime Minister. Manning served as Leader of the Opposition once again, also losing the 2000 elections. The 2001 elections ended in a tie, with both the Opposition PNM and the governing United National Congress winning 18 seats. President A. N. R. Robinson appointed Manning as Prime Minister. Unable to elect a Speaker of the House of Representatives, Manning proceeded to rule without Parliament until the need to pass a Budget forced him to call elections in October 2002. His party won this election with 20 seats to 16 for the UNC and formed the new government.

United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, left, talks with Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Patrick Manning during a closed door meeting inside The Pentagon June 23, 2008.

Under the current PNM administration, income taxes have been substantially reduced and the Corporation Tax has been reduced from 35% to 25% of profits for most companies. The Government has also re-instituted free university education. The economy is currently booming, primarily due to high natural gas and oil prices and to significant increases in natural gas production.[3]

Conversely, the country faced significant problems. Unemployment was at historically high levels, with many jobs on mega-projects in the construction sector being outsourced to Chinese and other immigrants. Violent crimes such as murders, rapes and kidnappings, rose sharply between 2002 and 2006, leading to widespread public dissatisfaction with the government's ability to address crime. Under the Manning administration, Trinidad and Tobago have been ranked 10th on highest murder rates in the world, as of December 2008 the national murder figure stand at 510 persons killed in 2008 compared to 367 in 2007.[4] There are also two members of his political party, including sitting Members of Parliament, who are currently on corruption charges, and a senior member of his Cabinet is being investigated by the Integrity Commission for alleged corruption.

In September 2007, Manning received an honorary doctorate from Medgar Evers College, CUNY.

Third term as Prime Minister

In 2007, Manning called for a general election to be held on 4 November. The PNM won this election with 26 of the 41 seats and Manning began his third term as Prime Minister.

On 11 December 2008, Manning revealed that his doctor has uncovered a malignant tumour in his left kidney. He returned to office on 4 January 2009 after undergoing surgery in Cuba on 15 December 2008.

Since then the country has experienced a slow down in the economy. Despite this the economic ratings of the country has come in for high praises mainly from the Standards and Poor report on August 15, 2008 which raised Trinidad and Tobago from an "A-" to an "A".

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago also hosted their Majesties King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain on November 30 to December 2, 2008. The purpose of the visit was to strengthen the economic ties between Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean and also to open new markets and possibility for increase trading and the opening of new markets.

The country was also hosted two world summits. The 5th Summit of the Americas on 17 to 19 April 2009 as well as The Commonwealth Heads of Government on 27 to 29 November 2009.

The Chilean President Michelle Bachelet paid Prime Minister Patrick Manning and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago a visit in 2010. The purpose being to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries and as a result a formal agreement was signed in an effort to unite the two countries.

Although Trinidad and Tobago is doing well economically, the country under the leadership on Prime Minister Patrick Manning isn't without its problems. Crime is an example. The Murder toll have declined sharply from 93 in 1999 to 509 in 2009. Additionally 2008 had the country's highest murder statistics of 550.

The Prime Minister's explains that the crime problem in country is a result of the illegal drug and arms trade. His speech at the 5th summit of the America points to the fact that the Caribbean is situated between the narcotic producing South American continent and the narcotic consuming North American continent.

Some of his crime detection and prevention methods includes the introduction of Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT), two surveillance airships (commonly referred to as blimps). The most recent being the inclusion of six high speed off-shore patrol vessels for better control of the country's maritime borders and coastlines on February 15, 2010. Prime Minister Patrick Manning has been quote as saying that the country can expect to see a 50% decrease in crime because of this most recent effort.

References

  1. ^ a b c Biographical Summary of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, from NALIS, the National Library and Information Service of Trinidad and Tobago
  2. ^ Meighoo, Kirk (2003). Politics in a Half Made Society: Trinidad and Tobago, 1925-2002. Ian Randle Publishers, Kingston, Jamaica. ISBN 976-637-079-6. 
  3. ^ Guardian.co.uk
  4. ^ Nationnews.com
Political offices
Preceded by
Basdeo Panday
Leader of the Opposition of Trinidad and Tobago
1986 – 1989
Succeeded by
Basdeo Panday
Preceded by
Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago
1991 – 1995
Succeeded by
Basdeo Panday
Preceded by
Basdeo Panday
Leader of the Opposition of Trinidad and Tobago
1995 – 2001
Succeeded by
Basdeo Panday
Preceded by
Basdeo Panday
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago
2001–present
Incumbent
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Yoweri Museveni
Commonwealth Chairperson-in-Office
2009 – present
Incumbent

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