PRINCES Town MP Barry Padarath said on Tuesday there is no question of his seat being declared vacant because he has been in the US since TT closed its borders in March.
Padarath left TT for Florida before the borders were closed to curb the spread of the covid19 pandemic.
According to Section 115(2) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, a member's seat can be declared vacant according to Section 49 (2) of the Constitution, if that member misses six consecutive sittings of the House during the same session without the leave of the Speaker.
Padarath explained that he decided to go to Florida to visit his child, long before the decision to close the borders was taken. Owing to this unusual circumstance, Padarath said he has been in constant contact with the Parliament's staff and they have been advising him how to proceed.
"I am well within the standing orders."
Padarath also said he remains hopeful that the UNC will select him to stand for re-election in this year's general election.
While he has been abroad, Padarath said the UNC Princes Town constituency chairman Gowrie Roopnarine and his constituency office staff have been ensuring that the constituency continues to be serviced.
While he hoped to be chosen as Princes Town candidate, Padarath said there is a lot of talent in the UNC and he will abide by whatever decision the party takes regarding Princes Town. Regardless of what that decision is, Padarath said he remains committed to the party and to UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.