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Energy and Energy Industries Minister Franklin Khan.

by Renuka Singh

Energy Minister Franklin Khan is dead.

News of his passing comes as a surprise as just two weeks ago, Khan was speaking to the media about setting up a committee to investigate the Niquan explosion and seemed in good health.

In a brief post minutes ago, Prime Minister Keith Rowley extended “his deepest condolences to the family of Senator the Hon Franklin Khan”.
The Office of the Prime Minister social media page wrote that “the Prime Minister is extremely saddened by the passing of his colleague and friend who will be remembered as a man who dedicated his life to public service. Dr Rowley mourns the loss of a patriot and son of the soil. May God bring comfort and strength to his loved ones”.

Back in 2017, Khan fell ill while vacationing in Thailand, the People’s National Movement was hesitant to confirm whether he suffered a heart attack as was speculated at the time.

The party did confirm that he was ill though and was hospitalised.

It was later that the PNM confirmed that he had had surgery and was back home in T&T and resting and recuperating.

Last year Khan underwent a “minor medical procedure” and missed an OPEC meeting.

Again there was very little information at the time about the reason for the minor procedure.

In the past few weeks, the United National Congress (UNC) wrote to Khan in his capacity as Leader of Government Business to have the Parliament Chamber sanitised after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley tested positive for the Coronavirus.

For years Khan served as the chairman of the PNM.

After the 2015 general election, Khan was appointed to the Senate. He was appointed Minister of Rural Development and Local Government on September 11, 2015.

By October that same year, Khan was appointed Minister of Energy and remained in that post until his passing.

Khan was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Ortoire/Mayaro in 2002. He was then appointed Minister of Works and Transport, a position which he held until May 2005.