Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC MP, the Member of Parliament for Siparia, makes her point during the Parliament sitting to look at the Motion to remove the President, which she brought to the house. (Image courtesy Parliament Secretariat)

The motion to remove President Paula-Mae Weekes from office has been defeated by Parliament’s Electoral College – both Houses of Parliament meeting together – by a vote of 24 members for, 47 members against and 0 abstentions.

The Electoral College met at 12.15 on the matter and the first order of proceedings was for a roll call to be taken.

Opposition members from the House and the Senate said they were present with protest.
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar called for a secret vote so that members could make ‘conscience votes’.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bridgid Annisette-George who chaired the proceedings, told the Electoral College that the motion received the support of not less than one-third of the members of the House of Representatives, which paved the way for the Electoral College to decide.

She raised the question, that a tribunal be established to examine the removal of the President, and then called for a vote which required not less than two-thirds of the total Electoral College to be passed.

Amid Opposition protests, the Speaker called for the vote to continue by means of a count done by the Clerk. Opposition members, in response, started beating their desks in protest.

The vote was eventually taken in which the motion was defeated.