Dr Fuad Khan, the long-serving Member of Parliament for Barataria/San Juan has bowed out of politics after he told the UNC screening committee last night that he does not want to be its standard-bearer in the upcoming general election.
“You ever think you want to go before the sun sets? You go before the sun is set,” a surprised Khan told Guardian Media.
He expressed concern with the speed that his decision was relayed to Guardian Media, initially saying no comment but eventually accepting that his time in the Parliament had effectively come to an end.
Khan who barely held onto the seat in 2015 confirmed to Guardian Media that he had bowed out from the race saying he was leaving on his own volition. For him, this is no political epitaph.
“This is a personal decision and I had to be honest with myself and honest with my leader and I will work 110 per cent to take whoever candidate that I get. I will run it for them and I will carry them if I have to carry them,” Khan told Guardian Media.
A urologist by profession, Khan has been the MP for 23 years, although he has been in and out of the Parliament.
He had initially said he was not seeking re-election but signed the nomination papers and appeared before the screening committee last night before changing his mind again.
Insisting that he was still committed to the people of Barataria/San Juan, the veteran politician said he had run out of stamina and realised the time had come to go.
“I love the people of Barataria/San Juan! I will continue to work with them because I have been there for them since 1984 as a doctor, I served them as a doctor, I served them as a representative, but sometimes you have to understand, hey brother, you getting older. I am 65 years old, let me spend a little time doing something different,” Khan revealed.
He advised that to be a representative requires a lot of work “and sometimes you don’t have the stamina and with age the stamina goes.”
Khan insisted that he was not forced out by the Kamla Persad-Bissessar screening committee and said his joint proposal with the Chaguanas West MP Ganga Singh to have a co-coalition to face the PNM in the upcoming polls was never raised in the screening.
Asked if winning the last election by only 550 votes was evidence of waning political strength in the key marginal constituency, Khan disagreed.
He argued: “The thing about it that in 2015 all the other seats were lost, that was the only seat that came home. So if you equating that technically I should have lost.”
Khan said even though he was making way for someone else he was confident that his constituents still wanted him but said the time had come to pass on his knowledge to younger doctors, by training a cadre of new urologists in the country.
“Right now I want to concentrate on the surgical profession of urology to take it to the highest level that it could be taken. I want to start training young urologists. Its time to pass on what I know. You tend to have practical experience that the books don’t show you and there is a need to pass it onto the younger doctors. I learnt from the best in London at the Institute of Urology and I want to put that to use to the younger people. My direction in life is service in medicine.”
Khan said it was up to the screening committee to decide who will replace him and promised to work with the eventual standard-bearer saying he remained a loyal member of the UNC.