Moments before Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced the opening of nominations for general elections, Tabaquite MP Dr Suruj Rambachan announced that he will not be seeking political office again.
Speaking at the Gasparillo Secondary School during the UNC's meeting on Tuesday night, Rambachan said he wanted to serve as a mentor to the youths of his party rather than serve in office as an elected MP.
Rambachan had served for 50 years with the UNC and was a former Minister of Works under Persad-Bissessar's regime.
However, he said while he was privileged to serve he had internal squabbles within the party.
"I have had my battles with the leadership, with our Political Leader, with colleagues but I have always tried to fight inside not in the public. I believe that conversations lead to conversion and that politics is still about the art of compromise without relinquishing with your essential life values, " Rambachan revealed.
He said leaving office was inevitable.
"You must also be prepared to move on if the disagreements are beyond compromise. I want to assure you that my decision to redefine my role in the politics of my country and more particularly in the future of my party has nothing to do with disaffection or disappointments in my leader nor of any fundamental differences with my colleagues. "
Rambachan said he has faced many disappointments.
"As a politician more properly defined as a servant of the people, it is important to understand what the country needs. I will not be seeking office again but I will continue to serve the poorest and the weakest," Rambachan added.
Saying he was riding out into the sun, Rambachan said, "There those who will say good riddance to Rambachan. There are those who will say don't leave but I will be an elder statesman I am giving rebirth to my political party and the wisdom of my experience in public life will be given to the new generation of leaders," he said
He said the new governance structure will be based on compassion and sustainability.
"Out of governance that builds and sustains strong families and safe communities lie the strength of a nation."
He added that true leaders have a responsibility to grow and mentor the next generation of competent leaders to develop the nation.
Persad-Bissessar commended Rambachan for his stance to continue to serve saying he was an outstanding strategist and member of the party.
- by Radhica De Silva