Tributes have been pouring in since Dr. Linda Baboolal's passing early this morning.
Former Health Minister and MP for Barataria/San Juan, Dr Fuad Khan, said had fond memories of Baboolal, who represented that constituency from 199-21995.
"She was my first political opponent in 1995, she was an extremely nice person and never practised nasty politics. We shared a good relationship before she went into politics, leaving behind a lucrative private practice where she was loved and admired by her patients as well as colleagues.
"I once asked her why she left her successful practice. She told me she wanted to help the population."
He said Baboolal's illness raises the issue of why parliamentarians who served in the past are not afforded the benefit of medical insurance with assistance by the State.
Dr Khan also believes Dr Baboolal was pushed aside by the PNM in her final years, which he said "begs the question: is politics worth it for somebody in her profession?"
Public relations officer of the PNM Lezama Lee Sing expressed condolences on behalf of the party.
"The People’s National Movement notes with tremendous sadness the passing of dr. Linda Baboolal, who previously served as the chairman of the People’s National Movement from 1996 – 2000; as the member of parliament for Barataria / San Juan and as a cabinet minister from 1992-1995; and as the president of the senate during the 7th and 8th republican parliaments from 2002- 2007.
"Dr. Baboolal, a graduate of the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians in Dublin, Ireland, distinguished herself not only as an eminent medical practitioner but more so, as a servant of and for the people.
Hers is the distinction of being the first, and to date, the only female chairman of the People’s National Movement, and one who, during her tenure, won repute for her compassion, charm and unswerving moral probity.
She was also the first female president of the senate, as well as the first woman to act as the president of the republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
"The People’s National Movement joins the nation in prayer for the repose of her soul and we lift her family, her husband Dr. Michael Baboolal and their children and grandchildren in our thoughts and with love.
We are grateful to them for sharing their wife, mother, and grandmother with us and with the wider national community for almost 30 years."
Reporter: Janelle Bernard