AN "excellent speech" and a "powerful message" were some of the responses to the inaugural address of new President, Anthony Carmona.
"His speech was excellent. I really hope that people have listened with attention to what he had to say," said Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) president Br Harrypersad Maharaj.
He was speaking with the Express last night following Carmona's inauguration as Trinidad and Tobago's fifth President at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.
Maharaj noted the speech was "broad" and well thought out, with Carmona speaking on his upbringing and the issue of collective responsibility.
"Don't only look for the leaders and the politicians, change has to start at home, and once we start doing this I am sure, with the speech that he gave there tonight, I am sure we could see positive things in this world," said Maharaj.
He noted that Carmona, a Roman Catholic, also mentioned the "higher power" in the Constitution and referenced the visit of Pope John Paul II to T&T in 1985.
"I can see the firm conviction in the person. I think he is a really good choice and a good example for this country."
He said he was beginning to see a dynamic change "and there is great hope for the future".
He noted that the IRO looks forward to working with him.
Minister of the People and Social Development, Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, described the speech as "a powerful message" and he "particularly liked how he focused on the youths".
Carmona repeatedly spoke to the "children" of the nation and spoke on the need to help youths in depressed communities.
Ramadharsingh said he was pleased with the message of working with the youths "for a better future".
He also commended him for speaking about lawlessness and crime in a very positive way.
"I felt parts of his message were very poignant and I enjoyed some of his philosophical journey at times."
Carmona had also called on citizens to be less dependent on the State and Ramadharsingh noted that, contrary to what some may believe, that is the journey of this Government.
He said at the primary level you have to give help to those that are very needy, but you work with them on the road to empowerment.
PNM MP for La Brea Fitzgerald Jeffrey said the speech was "very good" and "very appropriate at this time".
What stood out for him was Carmona's discussion on the national watchwords of "Discipline, Tolerance and Production".
"We need to be more tolerant. And the whole question of productivity, I think right now we have not been producing as we ought to," he said.