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Abdulah on nomination for President: Govt MPs duty-bound to name most competent candidate
Leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah is making a strong call for each member of the Government to use his/her constitutional right and powers to be responsible in nominating the best and most competent person for the office of president. The vote for President of T&T is to take place on February 15.
Abdulah made the call on Thursday at the first of a series of forums organised by the MSJ to discuss and educate the public on the selection criteria for a president and the issues around constitutional reform. The forum was held at the Communication Workers Union (CWU) Henry Street, Port-of-Spain.
Abdulah said the Constitution allowed the Government in power to have full control when selecting a president. However, he said, this election had the capacity to take a different turn if each member and political party that make up the coalition government People’s Partnership (PP) used his or her constitutional right and powers to disagree if a suitable person were not nominated.
“Theoretically, the UNC has 19 members of the House, because Herbert Volney, former justice minister, said he is not under the Government’s whip; Errol McLeod is not a member of the UNC, so it is 19,” Abdulah said.
“There are 16 government members of the Senate, of which five are not UNC—Hamel-Smith, Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie, Christlyn Moore and Embau Moheni—of which three are COP, one is NJAC, and one is TOP...Therefore, that would give you 11 out of 16.
“There are 72 members in total, so while the Government has the majority, the UNC does not have the majority, and those who are not members of the UNC can use that bargaining chip to ensure we get a proper nominee. “This is why we are saying that if we get a bad nominee, we are going to hold each person individually and collectively responsible.”
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