Michael de la Bastide is being nominated as a candidate to be T&T’s fifth President by the 851 members of a Facebook group. It was created by De La Bastide's brother, Peter.
The electoral college will vote on the presidency on February 15 and many believe the former chief justice and former president of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) should be added to the list.
Wade Mark, Speaker of the House, former British Petroleum head Robert Riley and political analyst Dr Hamid Ghany also have been mentioned as possible candidates for the country’s top office.
Comments, such as “full support,” “indeed a good choice in the best interest of our country” and “a true luminary and leader, “I more than endorse this nomination,” have been left on the Facebook group's wall.
Its members include artists, teachers and journalists.
However, De La Bastide has said he could not accept the position.
Some commentators on the page questioned whether he would be up to the presidency because of his supposed ill health but his brother said he did not give up the CCJ because of health problems but rather because his term as president (2004-2011) had ended.
In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday, De La Bastide said: “I am not available for that appointment.”
He cited personal reasons not specifying what they were.
He said he was unaware of the Facebook campaign until after it had been started.
“I am very grateful to them for the confidence expressed and I am pleased by people who think I might be a suitable candidate,” he added. De La Bastide was awarded the Trinity Cross in 1996.