Former Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial was not re-selected to contest her seat in the upcoming general election, but has promised to return in some form to public service.
She spoke to Newsday on Monday, the day after the list of UNC candidates was issued without including her.
“Like any young MP – because I consider myself to be young – I am a bit disappointed, but I guess the decision-makers know best. Let us see what happens.
“We have an election to win and I remain a committed lifelong member of the UNC, and I want to see the UNC beat the PNM. I really think the people of TT deserve better than Keith Rowley. I have never seen a country degenerate so quickly in five years of the PNM.”
Ramdial is a two-term MP. For the past five years she had been Opposition spokesperson on Tobago affairs. In the former People's Partnership (PP) government (2010-2015) she was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Planning, Economic and Social Restructuring and Gender Affairs (2010–2011), Minister of State in the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development (2011–2012) and Minister of State in the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (2012–2015.)
Ramdial told Newsday that five years ago, when the PNM took office, she thought they had done so with a plan, but she said this had never materialised.
“As a normal citizen I can’t say I am happy, or that I feel safe and secure, or I am confident that opportunities exist for my kids.”
She was optimistic she still has a role to play in public service.
“There are other opportunities for me in the party.
“Right now I may be a little down, but I’m not out. I’ll be back, just like Arnold Schwarzenegger had said in Terminator. I’ll be back. When we win, so many spaces will open up.”
Ramdial was proud of having given the best of her youth, her parliamentary experience and her support of family values.
“Even the PNM gave me credit for exposing the Sandals deal and how it would have been for Tobago. I worked hard.
“I have left politics with my integrity intact, being transparent and accountable. I know I have a political future ahead of me.”
In a statement on her Facebook page, Ramdial, thanked UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for having supported her as a mother of two young children in her role as Couva North MP. Newsday asked if "mummy duties" might have mitigated against her re-selection.
“I have a supportive husband and parents, who have supported me over the years, so I made it work.
“I am a very proactive person and I love challenges. I work well under pressure. I never complained. I always made the situation work.”