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First female PM sworn in

world Updated: May 27, 2010 11:47 IST

AFP
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Trinidad and Tobago swore in its first female Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar on Wednesday, completing a new chapter for this energy rich Caribbean nation.

Persad Bissessar took the oath of office after her People's Partnership party's landslide victory at the polls Monday, taking 29 out of 41 seats and sending the People's National movement into opposition after more than four decades of almost consecutive rule.

"I Kamla Persad Bissessar solemnly swear by the holy ghita that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Trinidad and Tobago. I will uphold the constitution and the law," she said, standing next to President George Maxwell Richards.

"I will conscientiously, impartially and to the best of my ability discharge my duties as prime minister and do right to all manner of people without fear or favor, affection or ill will," she said.

"The challenge ahead is for us to remain as one people," the new leader declared following the ceremony.

Persad Bissessar already faces immediate challenges as heavy rains this week brought severe flooding in many parts of the country after six weeks of drought.