Nagessar may remain mayor
Chaguanas Mayor Orlando Nagessar, a UNC appointee, could remain mayor of Chaguanas for a long time.
It could be one day, one year or three years, should there be no resolution to the deadlock in that Corporation, legal sources in the Attorney General’s office said yesterday.
“If the deadlock continues to persist, it would not incapacitate the council, because the law already makes provision for the continuity in office of the mayor and the Council could operate technically speaking,” the source stated.
The PNM, Independent Liberal Party (ILP) and the United National Congress (UNC) each would have four members on the 12-member Corporation. “It (the new Act of 2013) had never envisaged this situation. It provided for the mode of appointment of the aldermen (via proportional representation) and the (old) Act had provided for the mode of appointment of mayor, chairman, deputy mayor and deputy chairman.
But while Chaguanas remains in limbo, the PNM has decided that president of the Football Federation, Raymond Tim Kee is to become the new mayor of Port of Spain, according to sources.
Tim Kee, Asha Permanand, who is the daughter of Justice Jean Permanand, Rono Callender and James Chin Ching are the PNM’s aldermen for the city. Councillor Keron Valentine, who represents North Port of Spain, would be deputy Mayor, sources said.
The party’s list of aldermen was submitted to the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) yesterday.
Sources said former vice-president of the Senate, businessman George Hadeed is to become the Arima mayor. Hadeed, Laurel Lezama-Lee Sing, Bertiney Pollidore and Herman Noel are the choices for aldermen on the Arima Borough Corporation. Councillor Anthony Garcia, former school principal, is tipped to be deputy Mayor.
For the San Fernando mayor, it is likely to be Kazim Hosein, a businessman whose father, Rafeeq Hosein was a former mayor of San Fernando. The other names submitted for aldermen for the San Fernando Corporation are Vidia Mungal-Bissessar, Junia Regrello and Patricia Victor-Wilson. However the party was only allocated three aldermen based on the percentage of the vote it received. The Congress of the People (COP) was allocated the fourth aldermen. A party official last night admitted that four names were submitted to the EBC in error. “We got a little carried away,” the official said, adding that the issue would be fixed today.
In Point Fortin the party would be putting back Clyde Paul as mayor. The other three aldermen would be Surina London, Derek Dindial and Leslie Pascall. The party has not finalised the decision who would be chairman of the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation. However the names of the aldermen include former minister Anthony Roberts, Ulric Maule, Sherma Wilson and Ramdai Amarsingh Rampersad. The other aldermen are: Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation — Hamil Hosein and Elitha Bessor; Princes Town — Pearl James and Marlon Mohammed; Sangre Grande — David Alonzo and John Renn; Siparia — Patsy Ransome and Junior Thompson and Chaguanas —Aben Phillips.
On the stalemate on the Chaguanas Borough Corporation, the spokesman from the Attorney General office stated that the Municipal Corporation Act does not speak to this kind of situation.
“The law doesn’t provide any means so it would have to fall back to the practice. My understanding is that in the absence of an expressed provision in the legislation to deal with such a situation, based on past practice, a unique convention in local government has developed in Trinidad and Tobago where to solve the deadlock the parties draw lots. It has occurred on a number of occasions before this. Though the law does not specifically say that,” the spokesman from the Attorney General stated. The practice is rooted in Roman law where the drawing of straws was used to break a deadlock.
“Failing all of that, the Municipal Corporation provides that the mayor shall continue to hold office until a successor is sworn in. So the current Mayor will continue to be mayor. It may be one day, it may be one year, it may be three years, until that issue is resolved,” the spokesman stated.