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No prez house for Carmona
Government’s Property Division will examine the house on the grounds of President’s House to see if it needs refurbishment for the new President. House leader Roodal Moonilal confirmed that yesterday after Government on Monday selected Justice Anthony Carmona for President. The Opposition PNM is supporting the nomination.
Incumbent President George Maxwell Richards’ term ends March 17. During his term, Richards has lived on the grounds in the building, known as the “cottage”. The roof of President’s House collapsed in 2010. A temporary roof is up over part of the building but no repairs or renovations have been done.
In 2012, Works Minister Emmanuel George said the extensive work would not be finished “anytime soon.” Yesterday, works construction director Zanim Ali said the temporary roof project has to be completed and the restoration of the building has not started because Government has to pay consultants hired for the job in 2007.
Design fees were about $7 million, Ali estimated. He said Cabinet might be dealing with that soon. He said once that was settled and work began, the focus would be on structural work and the roof before full restoration. He estimated, however, the building would not be usable for two years or so.
Moonilal yesterday noted Carmona has a young family with two children. He said a survey of the facilities at President’s House would be made to see if any work had to be done to the cottage. Before Richards became President he lived in a Maracas Valley townhouse. Carmona occupies a unit at Flagstaff Hill, St James.
Meanwhile, Carmona was the sole nominee for the post of President submitted to the office of the Speaker yesterday. The nomination, submitted by the Government, bore the signatures of 12 government members: They were:
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP Siparia
Errol McLeod, MP Pointe-a-Pierre
Jack Warner, MP Chaguanas West
Prakash Ramadhar, MP St Augustine
Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, MP San Fernando West
Nizam Baksh, MP Naparima
Anil Roberts, MP D’Abadie/O’Meara
Chandresh Sharma, MP Fyzabad
Dr Rupert Griffith, MP Toco/Sangre Grande
Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, MP Tobago East
Stephen Cadiz, MP Chaguanas East
Dr Roodal Moonilal, MP Oropouche East
The Parliament said the electoral college would meet on February 15 at 2 pm in the Parliament chamber to elect a President.
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