Kamla Persad-Bissessar
Overview
 
Kamla Persad-Bissessar is the Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

, 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.

Persad-Bissessar is the political leader of the United National Congress
United National Congress
The United National Congress is one of the two major political parties in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and one of the parties in the current ruling coalition. It was founded by Basdeo Panday, a lawyer and former trade unionist. The UNC was formed as the result of a split in the ruling...

 and leads the People's Partnership
People's Partnership
The People's Partnership is a political coalition in Trinidad and Tobago between five political parties: the United National Congress, the Congress of the People, the Tobago Organization of the People, the National Joint Action Committee and the Movement for Social Justice...

, a coalition of five parties, formed for the general election of 24 May 2010
Trinidad and Tobago general election, 2010
A general election was held in Trinidad and Tobago on May 24, 2010. The date of the general elections was announced by Prime Minister Patrick Manning on April 16, 2010, via a press release. The election was called over two years earlier than required by law...

. She was the first woman to serve as Attorney General
Attorney General
In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general, or attorney-general, is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.The term is used to refer to any person...

, acting Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

, Leader of the Opposition
Opposition (parliamentary)
Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based parliamentary system. Note that this article uses the term government as it is used in Parliamentary systems, i.e. meaning the administration or the cabinet rather than the state...

 of Trinidad and Tobago.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Kamla Persad-Bissessar is the Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

, 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.

Persad-Bissessar is the political leader of the United National Congress
United National Congress
The United National Congress is one of the two major political parties in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and one of the parties in the current ruling coalition. It was founded by Basdeo Panday, a lawyer and former trade unionist. The UNC was formed as the result of a split in the ruling...

 and leads the People's Partnership
People's Partnership
The People's Partnership is a political coalition in Trinidad and Tobago between five political parties: the United National Congress, the Congress of the People, the Tobago Organization of the People, the National Joint Action Committee and the Movement for Social Justice...

, a coalition of five parties, formed for the general election of 24 May 2010
Trinidad and Tobago general election, 2010
A general election was held in Trinidad and Tobago on May 24, 2010. The date of the general elections was announced by Prime Minister Patrick Manning on April 16, 2010, via a press release. The election was called over two years earlier than required by law...

. She was the first woman to serve as Attorney General
Attorney General
In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general, or attorney-general, is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.The term is used to refer to any person...

, acting Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

, Leader of the Opposition
Opposition (parliamentary)
Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based parliamentary system. Note that this article uses the term government as it is used in Parliamentary systems, i.e. meaning the administration or the cabinet rather than the state...

 of Trinidad and Tobago. She became Political Leader of the United National Congress
United National Congress
The United National Congress is one of the two major political parties in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and one of the parties in the current ruling coalition. It was founded by Basdeo Panday, a lawyer and former trade unionist. The UNC was formed as the result of a split in the ruling...

 and Opposition in 2010.

Education and early career

Kamla Persad-Bissessar graduated from Iere High School and went on to further her studies at the University of the West Indies
University of the West Indies
The University of the West Indies , is an autonomous regional institution supported by and serving 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica,...

, Norwood Technical College (England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

), and the Hugh Wooding Law School. Consequently, she was awarded a B.A. (Hons.), a Diploma in Education, a B.A. of Laws (Hons.) and a Legal Education Certificate. In 2006 she obtained an Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA) from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, Trinidad.

On completion of her studies, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar entered the teaching profession. While in England pursuing studies, she worked as a social worker with the Church of England Children’s Society
The Children's Society
The Children's Society, formally The Church of England Children's Society, is a UK charity allied to the Church of England and driven by a belief that all children deserve a good childhood.-History:...

 of London. She taught at the St. Andrew High School in Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island...

 and at the Mona Campus in Jamaica. Later, she taught at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. At the Jamaica College of Insurance she was also a Consultant Lecturer. Her next step was to lecture at a Tertiary Education institution. After lecturing for a total of six years, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar then became a full-time Attorney-at-Law
Lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

.

Political career

Persad-Bissessar has served as Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for the Siparia
Siparia
Siparia is a town in southern Trinidad, in Trinidad and Tobago, south of Penal and south-east of Fyzabad. Also called "The Sand City," it was originally a non-Mission Amerindian settlement. Siparia grew to be the administrative centre for County Saint Patrick, and later the Siparia Regional...

 constituency since 1995. She served as Attorney General in 1995 until Ramesh Maharaj
Ramesh Maharaj
-Early life:Mr. Maharaj had over 30 years experience in the legal profession having been admitted to practice at the English Bar in 1967. He had been in private practice as Senior Partner in the chambers of Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj and Company. He had also been admitted to practice as an attorney...

 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. The position of Leader of the Opposition was declared vacant by President George Maxwell Richards
George Maxwell Richards
George Maxwell Richards, TC, CM is the fourth President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. A chemical engineer by training, Richards was Principal of the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad in 1996. He previously worked for Shell Trinidad Ltd. before...

 after Basdeo Panday
Basdeo Panday
Basdeo Panday was the 5th Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago from 1995 to 2001 and has served as Leader of the Opposition from 1976–1977, 1978–1986, 1989–1995 and 2001–2010. He was first elected to Parliament in 1976 as the Member for Couva North. He is the former...

 was convicted of failing to make an accurate declaration to the Integrity Commission concerning a bank account held in London. 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
United National Congress
The United National Congress is one of the two major political parties in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and one of the parties in the current ruling coalition. It was founded by Basdeo Panday, a lawyer and former trade unionist. The UNC was formed as the result of a split in the ruling...

, 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.

Prime Minister

Persad-Bissessar took office after the victory of the People's Partnership
People's Partnership
The People's Partnership is a political coalition in Trinidad and Tobago between five political parties: the United National Congress, the Congress of the People, the Tobago Organization of the People, the National Joint Action Committee and the Movement for Social Justice...

 in the general election of 24 May 2010
Trinidad and Tobago general election, 2010
A general election was held in Trinidad and Tobago on May 24, 2010. The date of the general elections was announced by Prime Minister Patrick Manning on April 16, 2010, via a press release. The election was called over two years earlier than required by law...

 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
Julia Gillard
Julia Eileen Gillard is the 27th and current Prime Minister of Australia, in office since June 2010.Gillard was born in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales and migrated with her family to Adelaide, Australia in 1966, attending Mitcham Demonstration School and Unley High School. In 1982 Gillard moved...

 with the opening of the 2011 CHOGM
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2011
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2011, commonly known as CHOGM 2011, was the twenty-second Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations...

 on 28 October 2011.

Personal life

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

In August 2011, government officials confirmed that Persad-Bissessar had been stricken with dengue fever
Dengue fever
Dengue fever , also known as breakbone fever, is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles...

, and would carry out duties of the State under medical supervision.

External links


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