PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Thursday January 9, 2014, CMC – After two years of being absent from Parliament, the Member of Parliament for San Fernando East, Patrick Manning, is scheduled to return to the House on Thursday.
The former Prime Minister who suffered a stroke in January 2012, took two years to recuperate and was also granted extensive leave on the grounds of medical illness by House Speaker Wade Mark .
Manning’s decision to return to the Parliament was announced on Wednesday through social media.
“Back to work. See you in Parliament on Friday,” the Facebook post said, immediately getting hundreds of likes and comments. Comments such as “Best news for the year!”; “Welcome back my PM”; “De boss is back”; Long overdue”; “My Patos is back”; “Our saviour returns” and “PM for life” littered the social network.
Commenting on his return,Chief Whip Marlene McDonald said -“When he spoke to me (indicating that he would be coming back to the House) I welcomed him back. This January is exactly two years he has been away, so I welcome his return. He has been the longest serving member of Parliament so we look forward to his return. We have always wished him a speedy recovery. And the mere fact that he is returning shows that he is doing quite well physically and otherwise.
So I am happy to have my full team there, as Chief Whip. When he left there were 12 of us, now there are 13 of us. And down the road there would be many, many more of us. So I am happy,” McDonald said.
Manning whose health has improved significantly in the past few months is expected to occupy a new seat in Parliament, behind McDonald.
Concerning his future in politics, Manning has on several occasions indicated that he plans to quit politics at the end of next year’s current term.