February 16, 2007
Skerrit: I worked hard to be where I am today

How a person grew up is no excuse for failure, with hard work he can achieve anything he sets his mind to.

It sounds like one of those lines that you expect from an old, seasoned man who has a long list of achievements behind him, but it was spoken last Wednesday by the youngest Head of State in the World, Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.{{more}}

Amidst the hectic schedule of the recently concluded 18th Inter-Sessional meeting of the Heads of Government of CARICOM, and even though he was battling the flu, Skerrit took a few minutes to inspire youths throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the region at large.

“I grew up with my grandmother and my aunt and I had a very humble upbringing, but I worked hard to be where I am today,” Skerrit said.

Sworn in as Prime Minister in January 2004, after the untimely death of Prime Minister Pierre Charles, Skerrit told SEARCHLIGHT that he is very confident of his ability to lead and has not been fazed by the negatives in the political arena.

“As long as I have the support of the people, I am alright. They wouldn’t always agree with me, I know that, but so far, the support has been tremendous,” he said.

Skerrit cemented his position by convincingly winning the 2005 general elections with 52% of the votes and 12 of the 20 seats that were contested.

As for the “old boys” club, Skerrit said that he has had the total support and respect of the other Heads of State.

“I have the respect of all the Heads of State; I speak on the behalf of the Dominican people, so I don’t ever back down,” said the 34-year-old who also serves as CARICOM’s lead on matters of Free Movement as part of the move towards the CSME.

He is single, and turning heads, but marriage is not part of this rising star of politics immediate future.

“I am single, I will think about marriage in due season,” he said, laughing as a nearby Dominican journalist jokingly declared the formation of a “wife finding” task force for their leader.

“Maybe in 2011, I will enter that domain,” the likeable leader quipped.