Kelvin Charles has resigned from the Executive arm of the Tobago House of Assembly as promised on April 29.
The announcement was made via press release yesterday.
“Kelvin Charles has demitted office as Chief Secretary of the THA in keeping with his promise to leave the office at the end of April 2020,” the statement said.
It’s nine months ahead of his full four-year term as chief secretary, which is scheduled to end in January 2021.
Charles became chief Ssecretary on January 26, 2017, after defeating Tracy Davidson-Celestine in a run-off internal election for the leadership of the People’s National Movement Tobago (PNM) Council.
Three years later, the outcome of the PNM’s internal elections was reversed and Davidson-Celestine, then former ambassador to Costa Rica, beat him soundly in the internal election.
After public posturing by both candidates, each calling for the resignation of a member of their opposing teams, Charles opted to resign to ensure a “smooth transition” of the party’s leadership.
Now, all eyes are on the legislative arm of the THA to determine who will be the island’s fourth chief secretary.
According to former assemblyman Stanley Beard,the THA’s Act, #40 of 1996 makes provisions for the Deputy Chief Secretary to fill the post.
In this instance, it’s Finance Secretary Joel Jack.
Beard, one of the drafters of the THA Act, said Jack will act until a new chief secretary has been chosen.
“The act is clear on this. Once the post of Chief Secretary is vacant, the Deputy Chief Secretary fills it,” he told Guardian Media.
He said the presiding officer of the assembly legislature Vanessa Cutting-Thomas will call a special sitting and elected assembly will choose who they want as their leader.
However, Tobago’s official opposition party- the Progressive Democratic Patriots, said Tobago should have known by now who will fill Charles’ shoes.
The PNM Tobago Council has taken the PDP to task telling them to stop inciting “pain and fear” and questioning the competence of Tobago’s legislature to fill the position.