UNC Senator Ato Boldon, centre, shares a word with his colleague,
Sadiq Baksh, during yesterdays sitting of the Senate.
Photo: Karla Ramoo
Immediately after his first Senate session yesterday, new
UNC Senator Ato Boldon said he feels he can be a bridge between
the young and old in T&T and between the UNC and PNM parties.
UNC isnt my agenda, Boldon told reporters.
is the PNM. The youth and sports in T&T are my commitments.
My actions in time will show this.
The four-time Olympic medallist was sworn in as an Opposition
UNC Senator, replacing Roy Augustus, who resigned on Monday.
Also being sworn into the Senate was Dr Tim Gopeesingh, who
replaced sacked UNC Senator Robin Montano.
Boldon, at his first press conference after yesterdays
Senate sitting, called on PNM Ministers Howard Chin Lee, Hazel
Manning and Roger Boynes to work with him for T&Ts
upliftment in the World Cup matches in June.
Boldon, 32, took the oath of office in Parliament in the presence
of UNC Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday and deputy Jack Warner,
who congratulated each other as Boldon took his Senate seat.
However, UNC political leader Winston Dookeran yesterday said
Boldon was chosen without his knowledge.
Boldons predecessor, Augustus, resigned on Monday, saying
he was repulsed by the viciousness from some UNC
executive members in the last few days.
Montano was dismissed by Panday on Friday, for breaching an
executive order against discussing internal party business
in the media.
Montanos replacement, Gopeesingh, received a seat next
to Senate Leader Wade Mark, higher up than Montano had been.
Boldon was seated midway in the UNC bench, ahead of Senators
Sadiq Baksh and Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan.
Baksh and Bachan are now at the far end of the UNC bench.
Both are tipped for removal soon, UNC sources said yesterday.
Panday yesterday dismissed concerns that Boldonwho travels
between the US and T&Tdid not qualify for the Senate.
was nothing to check, since Boldon is a citizen of T&T,
At yesterdays press conference, Warner said Panday had
asked him to contact Boldon to see if he would serve, since
Boldon would be a good person to articulate the positions
of young people in sport.
Although Boldon was due to leave T&T, Warner said he agreed
to take up the appointment. He said the UNC decided to keep
the development a secret as part of a new discipline
Boldon said he had always hesitated to make any inroads
in this direction. However, he said he realised that
he had worked for people on both sides of the House.
agenda is singular. Im not in this to be in the papers
or for political gain. My agenda is to give back, Boldon
said, adding that youths feel as though T&T no longer
cares about them.
dont expect everyone to understand my decision now to
have a cause for which Im willing to commit. But from
1992 to now, Ive always maintained that I dont
believe I have gotten my blessings simply to live in a house
and look at a lot of medals.
Boldon added: Ive been on the sidelines for quite
some time. I was made an ambassador four years ago and promised
with that would come some responsibility and some things to
retired now, I dont have that much to do. I want something
to do and what I see this opportunity as is a chance to do
Boldon said he was not a UNC member though.
On current UNC tensions in the party, he said:When many
things crumble around me I tend to survive. My demise has
been predicted for many years and Im still here. Those
who want to work with me I certainly will, and those who are
opposed to what I see as beneficial, Ill simply work
to ask those who are willing to work with me.
I expect it to be easy? Absolutely not. But I enjoy challenges.
Ill put 100 per cent of myself into this. This isnt
a part time-thing.
Boldon, due to travel this week, may appear at Sundays
UNC rally if he returns in time, Warner said.
UNC deputy leader Jack Warner said yesterday he had not officially
seen former Senator Roy Augustus resignation until 11
am yesterday, even though both work in the same building.
Warner said he was the one who had proposed Augustus to replace
deceased Senator Arnim Smith in 2004.
He added that since that was so, he would have thought that
common courtesy would have demanded that he be advised of
Augustus resignation before hand.
Im not angry, Warner added.
grandmother told me when one doors closes, another opens.
Asked if Augustus was still working for Warner, the latter
said: Up to now, yes. Warner quipped that he may
be in the Parliament building at some point soon.