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Thursday 16 August 2018
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Duke still without an office as Minority Leader

Minority Leader of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), Watson Duke, said he and his team are willing to work through their entire term without an office assigned to them.

Duke, responding to a query by Newsday Tobago whether the arrangements for the Minority Leader’s office had been completed, said that he was still awaiting word on the location of office space and a staffing request.

“We are yet to hear anything with regards the setting up of office space for the Minority Leader’s office. I am not worried nor am I fretting as we are prepared to go the full four years without an office, if that is the agenda, then so let it be,” he said, describing the delay by the Executive Council as petty.

“It’s now nine months heading into a year and it definitely speaks to the mindset of the Executive Council, in that the work of the Assembly revolves around their petty agenda like code of

conduct, ban on Styrofoam and being able to have meetings within FBOs and CBOs.

“That is their agenda but the agenda to create a real democratic system where arguments can be had for or against the real issues in the open society is not of their making, not of their thinking and that is not important to them,” he said.

Earlier in March, Duke had rejected an offer by the Executive Council to have the Minority Leader’s office set up at Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) building, indicating that office space at the Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance Building (TTMF) on Jerningham Street was a better choice.

Asked for a comment on the issue, THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles said that as far as he was aware, the Minority Leader was allocated an office.

“Let me remind you that an office was allocated to the Minority Leader and he refused to move in,” he told Newsday Tobago on Monday.


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