The first two appointments to be made by President Paula-Mae Weekes after receiving the final results of the general election will be the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
A statement from the Office of the President highlighted some of the steps outlined in the Constitution to be taken by the President after getting the final results from the Elections and Boundaries Commission.
It went on to note that the PM must be willing to take on the role, and that person would be “a member of the House of Representatives who is the Leader in that House of the party which commands the support of the majority of members of that House.”
In this case, a letter would be addressed to the leader of the People’s National Movement, Dr Keith Rowley, enquiring whether he was willing to accept the Office of Prime Minister. If he was willing, Weekes would “cause the sitting Prime Minister to vacate office” in accordance with section 77 (2) (a).
“As soon as is practicable thereafter, the President shall appoint the Prime Minister, who shall advise the President of any other Ministers to be appointed on the same date. It is customary that the Attorney General is appointed on the same day as the Prime Minister so that the Cabinet, which has the general direction and control of the Government of TT, shall be constituted."
She said the Office of the President would then prepare the necessary instruments of appointment and oaths of office and send invitations to the swearing-in ceremony to all members of the House of Representatives and other guests.
A similar letter would be sent to the member of the House of Representatives who, in the President’s opinion, commands the support of the greatest number of members of that House who do not support the Government.
In this case, that person would be Kamla Persad-Bissessar of the United National Congress. If Persad-Bissessar is willing, she will be appointed Leader of the Opposition.