TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: ‘Win election for Martin’ - EntornoInteligente / News day / Joseph drowned while swimming in Grange Bay, Tobago this past Monday.

“When I was chairman of the party, he was general secretary and once more, we worked closely together. I benefitted from his quiet strength and his political wisdom,” recalled Baboolal, a former Senate president.

Referring to Joseph’s Senate contributions, Baboolal said, “Martin…made worthwhile contributions. He stated facts. He didn’t whitewash the figures like we hear now from people who are in the same position. His contributions were always intelligent and worthwhile.”

“We have lost a stalwart. We have lost a pillar of the party,” Baboolal added. “We will miss him every step of the way for this next election and, ladies and gentlemen, we must win this election for Martin. We must win it for him. We must be able to come back here in Balisier House on election night and say, ‘Martin, we have won’,” Baboolal declared to much applause from the mourners.

Tributes to Joseph were also paid by chairman Franklin Khan, former party treasurer, Mariano Browne and by political leader, Dr Keith Rowley.

Khan said, “I personally owe my political existence to that gentleman,” recalling how after two unsuccessful attempts to win the Ortoire/Mayaro seat for the PNM, in 2002 Joseph “gave up his ‘safe’ position as Member of Parliament for St Ann’s East and virtually sacrificed himself to be the campaign manager for Ortoire/Mayaro.”

Khan won the seat under Joseph’s guidance and the two “became very close friends.” He added, “Martin my brother, politically I am today because of you. Rest in peace and may God’s richest blessings be bestowed upon you.”

Browne meanwhile noted that in politics, “you have many colleagues, but few friends. Martin was my colleague and he was my very close friend and we became more friendly out of office.”

The former minister in the Finance Ministry also noted that while Joseph didn’t like everything he had to do, he did it with grace.

Browne noted that “the press was never kind to Martin. He had a difficult time as minister of national security. Few of us know the real stories that took place in the background. The real challenges, the real difficulties, the conflicts that were there, but he made the changes and today, there’s no kidnapping. One of the reasons that there’s none is Martin.”

In praising Joseph’s decision-making as national security minister, Browne indirectly criticised the current Government’s decision to implement a state of emergency in 2011.

“He (Joseph) avoided unnecessary states of emergencies because he knew that they would achieve nothing. We had to find that out the hard way.”

Rowley described his late colleague and friend as “a perfectionist (who) liked his scientific data” when planning and running several successful election campaigns for PNM. He cited the PNM’s clean-sweep of all 12 seats in the 2013 Tobago House of Assembly elections as an example of Joseph’s ability to implement a winning strategy.

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