Last update: 05-Dec-2013 3:57 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Nagessar stays on as mayor for now
New councillors in the Chaguanas Borough Corporation will take their oath of office tomorrow, outgoing mayor Orlando Nagessar said yesterday. However, until a new body is elected and new mayor sworn in, Nagessar remains mayor, he said. The corporation, whose results were deadlocked following last week’s local government elections, is yet to get word from the EBC on when aldermen will be announced, he added.
PNM’s Colm Imbert said once the body hears from EBC on formal declaration of its aldermen, a new mayor will have to be elected, at latest, four days after. If this is not done in that time frame, he said any party can take the corporation to court for breach of law. Imbert agreed that the recent amendments to the Municipal Corporation law (2013) had caused a lot of confusion in the deadlock case. The Government has received legal advice on this.
UNC deputy leader Suruj Rambachan said the UNC was pressing on with revealing its proposed mayoral candidate on the day of election of a mayor. On the PNM’s position that there was no law allowing a return to the polls and whether Rambachan would prefer a return to the polls, he said: “We’d prefer to let the current process continue. “Let’s go forward with the mayoral election and see what happens and after we’ll see if we have to return to the polls. If we have to return to the polls, ILP people will vote UNC.”
Meanwhile, EBC CEO Ramesh Nanan said the PNM’s Moruga candidate was willing to pay the $500 fee for another check on the results for that area and once this was done yesterday, the EBC would notify the other parties of the check over a two-day period and an outcome might be available next week. Attorney General Anand Ramlogan also commented on the issue yesterday after a Divali function held at Cabildo Chambers, Port-of-Spain yesterday.
Ramlogan said there existed no vacuum in the law for addressing the deadlock in the Chaguanas Borough Corporation. He said unless Nagessar resigns or ceases to be qualified he should continue in office until his successor has been elected. There has been discussion in the drawing of lots to resolve the 4-4-4 tie to resolve the tie but Ramlogan maintained there was no provision in law for this. “There was never a system in law for the drawing of lots to resolve an issue for the election or appointment of a mayor.
“The mayor by operation of law will continue to remain the mayor of Chaguanas until such time as a new mayor is elected,” Ramlogan said. The Local Government Ministry has written to the chief executive officer of the corporation to convene a meeting for the election of a mayor. That meeting is yet to take place.
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