Thursday, February 7, 2013

Carmona qualified to be president; best candidate chosen: PM

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissesssar said on Wednesday she believes the government chose the best candidate for the post of President of the country. And she said as far as she knows Justice Anthony Carmona meets all the requirements to be elected.

There are concerns over the judge's residency since he served overseas between 2001 and 2004.

Persad-Bissessar spoke with reporters at the launch of Children's Carnival at Boopsingh Park, Penal. "We sought legal advice and received legal advice from three eminent independent international counsel, QC (Michael) Beloff, QC (Lord David) Pannick and Fenton Ramsahoye," she said.

"Each one independently gave the same unanimous declaration that the Honourable Justice Carmona does meet the requirements as required by Section 23 of the Constitution." 

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan gave that same assurance in a brief media release Tuesday night.

Persad-Bissessar noted that the relevant section of the Constitution states that a nominee must be 35 years of age or above, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, and have been an ordinarily resident for 10 years immediately preceding a nomination.

"The operative words are 'ordinarily resident', so there is in law a difference and this is the advice we have received. Government is satisfied based on the advice received that he is eminently qualified and does meet the requirements of Section 23," Persad-Bissessar said.

Persad-Bissessar also said she is happy 
with the overwhelming support that her People's Partnership has been getting on the nomination. She explained that the suitability of the candidate was the most important factor in making the decision.

"I don't think ethnicity is the most important factor in selecting anyone, I don't believe religious persuasion is the most important factor, because we have in our society one of the most diverse, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic. There should not be one factor that should be overriding," she said. 

"All must be considered to come up with the best person, and I do believe that in the process we were able to select the best candidate for our nominee as President," she added."It always feel good when the people support actions taken by Government. On the note that there have been some wrong appointments, I would like you all to remember that we have made over 1,000 appointments for State boards and various State agencies. 

"Out of those, two or three might have been wrong appointments. It may not be a perfect A, or ten-plus record, but it is not a bad record that we have. Each one where there was a wrong appointment, it has been dealt with fairly swiftly," she said.

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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