TRINIDAD-Opposition supports Government’s nominee for President

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Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the opposition party will support the Government’s nominee of Paula-Mae Weekes for the post of President of the Republic.

Based on opposition support, Weekes will be elected unopposed as the next President of Trinidad and Tobago.

Justice Paula-Mae Weekes
Justice Paula-Mae Weekes

According to the Persad Bissessar, part of her support for Weeke’s is due to the fact that she will become the first female president of the country.

However, she  raised some issues regarding the constitutionality of the nomination, given that Weeke’s has been residing in the Turks and Caicos where she has been serving as a judge.

The constitution says a person becomes eligible to be elected if he/she has been an ordinary resident for the last 10 years.

However, Persad-Bissessar said she got the assurance from the Government that Paula-Mae Weeke’s meets all the requirements which allowed the Opposition to go ahead with the green light to co-sign the nomination.

The opposition leader says she takes honour in being part of a process to elect the country’s first female president and she also believes that  Weekes is deserving of the position.

“Today we have done the deed, we have co-signed the nomination. I feel very happy having done so,” she said.

Justice Weekes, was appointed to the Court of Appeal in the British Overseas Territory in September 2016 for a term of three years.

She becomes the second prominent regional jurist to be elevated to the post of head of state, following the decision of the Barbados government to name Madame Justice Sandra Mason as the island’s eighth Governor General last week.

Justice Weekes is a former Justice of Appeal of the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago where she served for 11 years until her retirement in 2016.

She was appointed a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago (Criminal Jurisdiction) in 1996 where she presided for nine years before being elevated to the Court of Appeal. Prior to her appointment to the Bench, Justice Weekes served with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for eleven years and in private practice from 1993.

She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and the Hugh Wooding Law School.

She is a trained and experienced judicial educator having become a fellow of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute in 2000. She has designed and delivered programmes extensively in Trinidad and Tobago and also in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Jamaica over the years.

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