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PM to meet Rowley on Pres nominee tomorrow
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley is expected to meet with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar tomorrow at 11.30 am. The PM will also announce the Government’s nominee for the country’s fifth head of State tomorrow. The deadline for nomination is Tuesday and a new president will be elected by the electoral college on February 15.
It will bring an end to President George Maxwell Richards’ second five-year term which ends on March 17. He was sworn into office on March 17, 2003. The election comes just about three weeks after the January 21 election of the Tobago House of Assembly.
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said after receiving the Opposition’s recommendation for president on Friday afternoon, Persad-Bissessar invited Rowley to a meeting at the earliest convenience. On Friday, Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Representatives Marlene MacDonald recommended Justice Rolston Nelson, SC, of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Among some of the names being bandied about for president over the past few weeks were Speaker Wade Mark, Kenneth Lalla, SC, Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith, Justice Amrika Tewarie-Reddy, QC Karl Hudson Phillips, Chief Justice Ivor Archie, Hamid Ghany and former head of bpTT Robert Riley.
AG: PNM acting in bad faith
Yesterday, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said he spoke with Nelson who indicated he had not given permission to the Opposition to nominate him as the party’s choice for president. He said the judge was surprised by the public announcement of his candidacy.
Ramlogan said there was no prior discussion, far less consultation with him for the publication of his name by the PNM. This, Ramlogan said, has compromised the selection process, as the PNM was trying to steal a political march from the Government. He said, “They were clearly acting in bad faith when they called for a consensus candidate.”
Ramlogan said the Government had been asking quietly for a nominee and this “is not how the process is supposed to operate.” According to him, “It is highly irregular and most improper.” Ramlogan said he also spoke to the CCJ president Justice Sir Dennis Byron and he said he was unaware of this new development with one of his judges.
PRO of the PNM Faris Al Rawi maintained last night that they had consulted with Nelson.
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