The People’s National Movement (PNM) has said it will never vote for any presiding officer except one it nominates.
The Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) legislative arm continues in limbo because a presiding officer has not been selected.
The 2017-2021 Executive Council, carded to vacate office after the elections, continues to govern the island as provided by the THA standing orders.
Speaking at a news conference yesterday, the party’s Tobago Council leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine said the presiding officer who is nominated had the casting vote.
That vote determines who will form the next executive council and the policies going followed, she added.
According to the THA Act, the Executive Council also has control over the island’s funds.
She reminded that Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis publicly called on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley last Sunday to take the issue to Parliament and amend the THA Act. Rowley is also the PNM’s national leader.
She also said the party is willing to adopt the Constitution (Amendment) (Tobago Self-Government) Bill’s clause relating to an increase in the electoral districts.
“Some have argued 13 (electoral districts) but we have advanced 15, not from our understanding of the situation, but because Tobagonians have said we want to see that,” the island council leader said.
Meanwhile, the current Executive Council remaining in control of Tobago’s resources is not sitting well with some Tobagonians. This is according to the rejected THA elections candidate- Providence/Mason Hall/Moriah electoral district, Kwesi Des Vignes.
“People are being incited to do certain things. I want to say that threats have been issued to my family and myself, via social media, about this particular issue,” Des Vignes said at the briefing.
Asked if he has additional security, he said no. He also said the persons who made the threats have since deleted their social media profiles. He runs the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries, and the Environment.
Des Vignes, the party’s Public Relations Officer, continues as a member of the Executive Council although some Assemblymen, who held similar portfolios, were asked to resign as they had not offered themselves up for re-election in the elections. They are no longer assemblymen and the PDP area representatives now occupy those seats in the assembly chamber.
Chief Secretary and Assemblyman for Buccoo/Mt Pleasant Ancil Dennis requested the resignation of secretaries who did not offer themselves up for re-election on January 25. Kelvin Charles, Jomo Pitt, and Hayden Spencer have resigned.
All assistant secretaries also left office, a statement from Dennis’ office said.