Trinidad and Tobago is out here making history! The Caribbean nation elected Paula Mae Weekes as its new president in January, making her the first black woman to hold the position. This week, Weekes was officially sworn in, replacing Anthony Carmona, according to TeleSur.
Weekes has a rich justice system history, having served the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for 11 years. She became a judge at the Criminal Division of Trinidad's High Court in 1996, and was promoted to Court of Appeal in 2005. Weekes was sworn in as Justice of Appeal in the Turks and Caicos Islands for three years.
Along with making history as the dual-island nation's first black woman president, Weekes is now the only woman to head a Latin American or Caribbean nation. Former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet left her post in March.
Following the election results, Weekes admitted that the idea of being president left her “completely terrified."
“I can tell you that apart from feeling honored and humbled, I felt completely terrified. And that terror has not yet abated,” said Weekes.
Similar to the U.S., Trinidad and Tobago's voting system is governed by an Electoral College, made up of Senate and House of Representative members. Its president is responsible for approving bills to become law and leading the armed forces.
Congrats, Paula Mae Weekes! You are forever embedded in history!
Really excited and proud of this historic day in my beautiful country’s history, as our first female president has just been sworn in. Welcome Her Excellency, President Paula Mae Weekes! #InaugurationDay #PresidentWeekes ???????? ???? pic.twitter.com/u8EHAjtBSJ— David Riley (@davidjrileytt) March 19, 2018