It will soon be a wrap for Naparima MP Rodney Charles, who, has signalled his intent to bow out of active politics.
In a media release on Thursday afternoon, Charles says he will not be submitting nomination papers to contest the 2025 general election, thus bringing an end to his active political career.
He says he believes it is time for the older politicians to make way for the younger generation.
The following is Rodney Charles’ full statement:
Further to numerous requests for my position on the matter, I wish to indicate that I will not be submitting nomination papers to contest the 2025 General Election. As such, my active political career will end in 2025.
On numerous occasions in Parliament and elsewhere I alluded to my increasing age and the necessity to pass the baton on to a younger generation.
I will be 76 in 2025 and the time has come for my generation to make way for younger politicians to assume the reins of leadership. These must bring fresh ideas, be of impeccable integrity, and even though relatively young must have impressive academic qualifications in a wide range of professions buttressed by performance track records in the public/private sectors, academia or with NGOs. Above all they must first and foremost diligently pursue the interests of Trinidad and Tobago.
As the oldest sitting MP in the Lower House, I call on Dr Keith Rowley, as the second oldest to join me in ushering in a new era of politics. We must discard once and for all the notion that one has to leave TT politics either in ignominy or in a casket.
I have tried throughout my career to serve T&T to the best of my ability.
In 2002, I established the COSTAATT School of Journalism and Communication Studies, arguably the best in the Caribbean. This was in part payment to the taxpayer for a government scholarship in Journalism.
As Retail Marketing Manager at NP, I noted the more than two decades of inaction on the modernization effort and spearheaded the upgrade of the dilapidated network of 212 service stations, i.e the introduction of QuikShoppes.
As TT’s UN Ambassador, I recorded three major achievements: firstly, the US$12.9 million acquisition of an ultra modern Chancery which today is arguably worth upwards of US$30 million. It earned for the taxpayer a rental income of US$30,000 monthly. Secondly, I obtained CARICOM and Latin American endorsements for TT’s 2023 Presidency at the UNGA and thirdly a guaranteed non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC) in 2027.
In Parliament as an Opposition Member I endeavored to hold Dr Rowley’s administration to account on a range of matters. For this I have to thank Mrs Kamla Persad Bissessar as leader of our party for the opportunity to serve for two terms as the Member of Parliament for Naparima.
I remain a lifetime member of the United National Congress, the only party that can take Trinidad and Tobago forward at this time. After 2025, I will continue to assist the party if called upon.