Monday, January 22, 2018

Paula for President - who is she?

...this is the Government's candidate

Justice of Appeal Paula Mae-Weekes

JUSTICE Paula-Mae Weekes is the Government's nominee for the position of President to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

This was announced by Minister Stuart Young at a press conference in Port of Spain on Friday.

Young said that Opposition members has not put forward a nominee and the Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has asked that she discuss the issue further.

Persad-Bissessar met with the Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and other Government members on Friday. 

Young said when the Government approached Weekes on the matter, she agreed to be nominated as a candidate for Presidency.

Young said the nomination form to be submitted to be delivered by Monday and that the Prime Minister has indicated that the Government will leave some spaces available for the Opposition to sign that form.

President Anthony Carmona will complete his term in office on March 18.

Young said that the Government hoped that the decision to have Weekes as the nation's new President will be unanimous.

Who is she?

JUSTICE Paula Mae-Weekes sworn in as a judge of the Turks and Caicos Islands Court of Appeal, in February 2017, for a term of three years.

She was a former Justice of Appeal in Trinidad and Tobago where she served for eleven years until her retirement in 2016.

She was appointed judge in 1996 where she presided for nine years before being elevated to the Court of Appeal.

Before that, she served with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for eleven years and in private practice from 1993.

A former pupil of the Bishop Anstey High School, Justice Mae-Weekes is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and the Hugh Wooding Law School.

How is the President elected?

The President is elected by the Electoral College voting by secret ballot.

The Constitution provides for an Electoral College, which consists of members of the Senate, and members of the House of Representatives to assemble and is presided over by the Speaker of the House.

Ten senators, the House Speaker and 12 other members of the House of Representatives make the quorum of the Electoral College.

To qualify for the position as President, the person must be nominated for the election. The person must be a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, over the age of 35 and upon the date of his/her nomination as President be an ordinarily resident in the country for 10 years immediately preceding his/her nomination.

The President would normally hold office for a term of five years.

Former Presidents:

Ellis Emmanuel Innocent Clarke (September 24, 1976 – March 19, 1987)

Noor Mohamed Hassanali (March 20, 1987 – March 17, 1997)

Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson (March 18, 1997 – March 16, 2003)

George Maxwell Richards (March 17, 2003 – March 18, 2013)