Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 10th 2015 Contents RESHMA RAGOONATH
Since Dr Keith Christopher Rowley captured the
leadership of the People s National Movement in 2010
he has been described as a "prime minister in waiting"
and that wait ended yesterday.
Rowley, who was sworn in as this country s seventh
prime minister at 1.30 pm, completed a historic fourth
consecutive election victory when the party he leads,
the People s National Movement (PNM), romped home
with 23 seats on Monday.
The Kamla Persad-Bissessar-run People s Partnership
won 18 seats.
This latest victory has cemented his leadership of
this country s oldest political party, which celebrates
its 60th anniversary this year, and led him to his seventh
consecutive term as the Diego Martin West MP, which
he has been for the last 24 years.
Rowley is a predominant figure in local politics and
began his career with the National Joint Action Com-
mittee (NJAC) before he gravitated to the PNM.
He revealed this in his Rowley. Right Leader. Right
Time one-on-one conversation with Barbadian jour-
nalist Julian Rogers, one of the main highlights of the
PNM s 2015 election campaign.
In the interview he revealed that he was an avid
cricket and football player as a child growing up in
Mason Hall, Tobago, where he was raised by his grand-
parents until he came to live in Morvant, Trinidad, in
1969 with his mother.
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The rise of Rowley
Rowley will celebrate his 66th birthday on
October 24 and he is credited as being a
strong family man. He is married to attorney
Sharon Rowley and is the father of two
daughters, Tonya, who is also an attorney and
Sonel, a postgraduate student. He also
recently became a grandfather.
On the campaign trail, Rowley also
confirmed that he had a son, Garth Alleyne,
who resides abroad.
Rowley attended Bishop's High School
(BHS) Tobago where he captured the
prestigious Sylvan Bowles Scholarship.
The PNM leader, in his one-on-one interview,
revealed that he was unable to attend
university immediately upon winning the
scholarship and had to work as a teacher for a
Rowley, according to his profile on the
PNM's Web site, graduated from the
University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica,
with a BSc. in Geology (First Class Honours)
and Geography (First Class Honours). He also
holds an MSc in Volcanic Stratigraphy from
UWI, St Augustine.
He obtained his doctorate in geology,
specialising in geochemistry.
The PNM leader, the profile said, "is a known
nature lover, who enjoys gardening, hiking and
is an avid golfer."
Rowley had really wanted to be a journalist
and focused his earlier studies on English and
Literature. However, after performing poorly at
the subjects he began to focus more on his
After graduating he became a research
scientist and held the positions of Research
Fellow and later Head of the Seismic Research
Unit at UWI, St Augustine.
In 1970 Rowley began his political education when
he became involved in the 'Black Power' movement
as an activist with NJAC. At that time, he said in his
one-on-one, NJAC was not a political party but a
movement of people who were standing up for a
Rowley grew up in politics and was surrounded by
staunch PNM supporters, one of whom was his
mother. However, he said, it was one of his friends
who influenced him and he joined the PNM in 1974 in
Some seven years later, in 1981, Rowley contested
his first seat for the PNM-Tobago West and lost.
However, he did not give up on his political
ambitions. In 1987 Rowley entered the Parliament for
the first time and became an opposition senator until
He later became the MP for Diego Martin West in
1991 and was re-elected in 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002,
2007, 2010 and 2015.
Rowley held various portfolios ranging from
minister of Agriculture, Lands and Marine Resources,
minister of Planning and Development, minister of
Housing and minister of Trade and Industry.
He was also T&T's representative governor of the
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and
governor of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
In April 2008, Rowley's political career hit a
speedbump when he was fired by then prime
minister Patrick Manning.
He was then minister of Housing and had raised
questions about the operations of the Urban
Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott) and its
chairman Calder Hart.
Following the People's National Movement
(PNM's) defeat in the 2010 election, Rowley's career
saw a resurgence and he was elected political leader
of the party.
He was also appointed Opposition Leader.
ROWLEY- THE POLITICIAN
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley waves to members of the public who were
shouting out his name on his arrival at Queen's Hall for his inauguration
ceremony yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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