Former Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Presiding Officer Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus, plans to “Strut into the future,” having tendered her resignation for the post effective Friday.
Tsoiafatt-Angus, who served in the role for the past three years, announced her resignation during an impromptu press conference on Thursday at the Assembly Legislature, Scarborough.
In her letter to the Assembly’s clerk, Cherry-Ann Edwards-Louis, which was leaked on social media, Tsoiafatt Angus said, “Please inform the members of the Tobago House of Assembly Legislature that pursuant to section 19 (1) (b) of the Tobago House of Assembly Act #40 of 1996, my resignation has been tendered to the Office of the President.”
At the press conference, she told reporters: “There comes a season and good reasons to answer the call, so I wish to confirm that the very confidential e-mail sent to the members, which is now circulating on social media is not fake."
Tsoiafatt-Angus thanked the three clerks with whom she worked closely, as well as the many staff members for their commitment, hard work and dedication in ensuring the programmes were well executed.
Tsoiafatt-Angus was also grateful to the members of the House for placing confidence in her capacity to excel in the role.
Sources say Tsoiatfatt-Angus is making way to contest the position of the political leader of the PNM's Tobago Council at their internal elections on January 19, 2020.
Questioned about this, she was evasive.
“As a sitting presiding officer, I would not answer political questions. My whole life is ahead of me. I intend to strut into the future.
She added, “Resigning a position is not something you take lightly, it’s something you have to think over in your mind, consider the impact on your family, consider the impact on the institution, consider the impact on the people.
"All of those was taken into consideration.”
Tsoiafatt-Angus said her family supported her decision.
During the 2013-2016 term under the Orville London regime, Tsoiafatt-Angus served as secretary of the then Division of Community Development and Culture.
She said she thoroughly enjoyed the position.
“Everybody knows me as a cultural person, and I love culture. I think it’s so unique and perhaps the advantage I have is that I now got a chance to look at it more from an observer status and not in the intricate planning of it.
“So I had the opportunity to see both parts of it.”
Dennis will assume the role of presiding officer at the next sitting of the THA, following which the seat would be declared vacant. Following that, the House would determine whether they would appoint a new presiding officer or allow Dennis to continue sitting.
In January 2016, current Chief Secretary and Assembly representative for Black Rock/ Whim/ Spring Garden, Kelvin Charles made a similar move, when he resigned as the Assembly’s presiding officer.
Charles contested the election and following a run-off, he was appointed the party’s Tobago political leader. At the time, Tsoiafatt-Angus was among his competitors
All 17 PNM Tobago Council positions, from political party leader to welfare officer, are up for grabs in the party’s Tobago internal elections on January 19, 2020.
Other members tipped to run for the position of political leader are Kelvin Charles, Ancil Dennis, Tracy Davidson-Celestine and Joel Jack.