THA cannot demit office until new persons elect: Tracy Davidson 

According to Tracy Davidson-Celestine, The Chief Secretary and Deputy Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly cannot demit office until new persons are elected. 

THA cannot demit office until new persons elect: Tracy Davidson 
THA cannot demit office until new persons elect: Tracy Davidson 

Trinidad and Tobago: According to PNM, Tracy Davidson-Celestine, The Chief Secretary and Deputy Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly cannot demit office until new persons are elected. 

The current executive is permitted by law in the interim to look after the island’s administrative affairs. This point was made by Tracy Davidson-Celestine, the Tobago Council of the People’s National Movement. She spoke at a media conference on Tuesday morning on the 6-6 deadlock in the THA Elections.

“It is not a situation that calls for emotion, but for following the rule of law,” Davidson-Celestine said. In this case, the Assembly cannot be constituted until a Presiding Officer is elected. “And so the administration of the island remains with the current executive.”

The three secretaries, Jomo Pitt, Kelvin Charles, and Hayden Spencer, who did not offer re-election, have resigned. Their divisions will be divided amongst the remaining six secretaries to ensure the island’s administration keeps running smoothly.

The Political Leader emphasized a distinction between the administrative arm of the Assembly and the legislative one. The latter could function only when a presiding officer had been chosen, and this was not possible in a 6-6 deadlock.

“The argument cannot necessarily be about the best person to become a presiding officer,” Davidson-Celestine said. The PNM had nominated its candidate, Ingrid Melville, through a well-thought exercise, choosing her because of her legal background, international experience, and because she had worked independently with the THA on the Tobago autonomy Bill.

She pointed out that the presiding officer had a casting vote in any tie. “There will never be a situation where the PDP accepts our nominee for presiding officer or where the PNM accepts the nominee for the presiding officer,” she said, “because we recognize that that can mean the difference between whether the PNM goes forward or whether the PDP goes forward.”

During the press conference, she called on the PDP to come together with the PNM to agree on the rules of engagement for the meetings at the Assembly “rather than just sitting there” and going through the same process and not deciding on a Presiding Officer.

Davidson-Celestine approached both Watson Duke and Farley Augustine, the Political and Deputy Political leaders of the PDP in the Assembly Chamber, on Monday to initiate a conversation on engagement rules.

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