PAN Trinbago and its central executive members are resisting a move to oust them from office and have taken its former president Keith Diaz to court. They are challenging his decision to convene an emergency general meeting on March 27, at which an interim committee was set up to run the organisation until elections are held.
Also named in the lawsuit are the interim committee members Gerard Mendez, chair of the Northern region and Marie Toby, chair of the Tobago region. The breach of contract claim, filed by Pan Trinbago and central executive members Richard Forteau, Andrew Salvador, Michael Joseph, Darren Sheppard, Allan Augustus and Trevor Reid, came up for hearing before Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh yesterday.
It was adjourned to next Wednesday to give Diaz and the two others an opportunity to seek legal representation. According to the lawsuit, Diaz resigned at the March meeting and sought to illegally remove and disband the central executive, which was was elected for a three-year term on October 25, 2015.
The executive members say the March 27 meeting was unconstitutional and Diaz was informed of this. They also claim a petition calling for an extraordinary meeting and which resolved to establish the interim executive, did not meet the constitutionally required quorum of 60 per cent of the membership.
Forteau said he denied the requisition for the meeting and wrote to Diaz telling him so, but the meeting was held on April 17. No member of the central executive was present. At this meeting, Forteau and the others were voted out and a caretaker committee, comprising of a chairman, the former president and treasurer and three others, was appointed.
Forteau and the others say the resolutions and decisions taken at the meeting are illegal and of no effect. Forteau and the others are represented by attorneys Farid Scoon and Saeed Trotter.