Friday, January 4, 2013

Trinidad & Tobago Presidential election set for Feb. 15

The T&T Presidential Standard
The Parliament of Trinidad & Tobago will elect a new Head of State on February 15, 2013, three days after Carnival. Closing date for nominations for the post of President is February 5, 2013.

The president is chosen by an electoral college comprising all members of the House of Representatives and the Senate with the Speaker of the Lower House presiding. 

However, it is not mandatory for all legislators to be present to elect the president. A legal quorum for the exercise comprises 10 of the 31 Senators, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and 12 of the 41 members of that house. Voting is by secret ballot and the person with a majority of votes is elected.

If there are two or more candidates and there is a tie in the votes, then the Speaker may cast a vote to break the tie.

According to Chapter 3, section 22 of the constitution the Head of State is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. 

Section 23. (1) states that in order to be nominated for the post of president a person must be a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago over the age of 35 and must have lived in the country for a minimum of 10 years immediately preceding his/her nomination.

Subsection (2) qualifies that to explain that a person is deemed to have lived in the country if she/he holds an office in the service of the state and lives abroad for that purpose.

In order to stand for election as President the candidate's nomination must be endorsed by 12 or more members of the House of Representatives and the nomination papers must be delivered to the Speaker at least seven days before the election. 

Communication Minister Jamal Mohammed told reporters Thursday's cabinet meeting did not discuss who might be the government's nominee for the presidency.

The current President, Professor George Maxwell Richards, has held the office for two successive five-year terms. In principle there is no law or constitutional provision that would prevent him from serving a third term. However, the precedent has been for presidents to serve two terms. 

The country's first president, the late Sir Ellis Clarke, took office in 1976 and retired in 1987. His successor was the late Noor Hassanali who also served two terms (1987-1997), making way for Arthur N.R. Robinson, who was president from 1997 to 2003. Each of them was elected for a second term.

President Richards took office on March 17, 2003; the Parliament re-elected him on March 17th 2008.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai