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Govt’s choice for President Monday (with CNC3 video)
A special meeting of Cabinet is set for Monday to confirm the Government’s nominee for the post of President.
This was revealed by a high-raking government source yesterday. The source said all the names which have been published as possible candidates were on the table but no final decision had been taken by the Government as yet.
The source said Monday’s meeting was being held to discuss and confirm the Government’s choice for the post. “That will be the only matter to be discussed at the Cabinet meeting,” the source added.
Earlier, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told the weekly post-Cabinet news conference at her office, St Clair, the name of the Government’s choice for President would be announced on Monday.There will be only one nominee.
She said there were many people who were capable of filling the post and carrying out the associated functions with dignity, humility and competence.
The PM said the election of a President was done by the electoral college and not the national community, as obtains in a general election. She said it was for that reason there remained “a greater duty and responsibility to ensure the person chosen is accepted nationally.”
She did not share the view the names of all those being considered should be made public but insisted those people must be afforded “the highest level of confidentiality,” and the process of electing a President “must be done with dignity.”
She dismissed claims the Government did not have a presidential nominee and was taking too long to nominate him/her.
Persad-Bissessar said the choice of a candidate for President “must be carefully thought out, especially in a society as diverse and complex as ours is,” and the President had a very important role to perform.
She recalled the role of the President during the 1990 attempted coup and following the 18-18 tie in the general election in December 2001 and said the President had the responsibility to make appointments in his own right “and can also stand as a voice of reason and moderation in our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious society.”
She insisted, as a consequence, “every care must be taken in choosing the right person, (as) the choice is one that will bind us as a nation for the next five years.”
Persad-Bissessar said recently Opposition Whip Marlene McDonald tried to arrange a meeting with the Government to discuss its nominee.
She said she asked Mc Donald: “What suggestions she had (and) she said she will get back to me. To date I have not had further responses as to any suggestion from the Opposition.”
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