PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, October 21, 2021 - A motion filed by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the appointment of a tribunal to investigate the removal of President Paula-Mae Weekes from office, failed in the T&T Electoral College today, by a vote of 47 to 24.
The vote in the Electoral College - which comprises all members of the House of Representatives and the Senate - was strictly along party lines with the 36 government parliamentarians rejecting the motion while the 24 members of Persad-Bissessar ‘s UNC party voting in favour of the motion. The nine independent senators also voted against the motion.
Persad-Bissessar's motion was in relation to events that led to the collapse of the Police Service Commission (PSC) last month and the failure to send a merit list of candidates for a commissioner of police (CoP) to the House for consideration.
At the end of the college's meeting (during which members either voted yes. No or Abstain when their names were called by the chairman, Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George, the Opposition fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to approve the motion.
A two-thirds vote of the members of both Houses of Parliament equates to 48 votes. The Government has 37 members in the House and Senate combined, while the Opposition has 25. The nine independent senators, Annisette-George and Senate President Christine Kangaloo complete the membership of the college.
The Oposition Leader alleged that the President was politically influenced on the selection process of a Police Commissioner after a visit from a high-office holder and therefore unfit to continue as President.