House unanimously agrees to validate THA elections

The House of Representatives has passed legislation to validate the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections.

The bill was passed by a vote of 37 for, none against and no abstentions.

It received the support of the Opposition, which criticised the government, and in particular the prime minister and the attorney general, for what they described as the embarrassment of setting the THA election date and then seeking validation.

According to law, there must be 21 days from nomination day to polling day. However, only 20 days were set.

The criticism came from Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar as she dismissed the attorney general’s suggestion that the problem originated from the Office of the President and the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC).

The Opposition Leader also dismissed the suggestions from Attorney General Faris Al Rawi, that the mix-up in the dates for the THA election came as a result of issues from the President’s Office and the EBC as he insisted the prime minister had nothing to do with it. She stated that it is the prime minister who ultimately decides the date.

Earlier in the debate, Al Rawi suggested that the prime minister was not at fault.

The Senate will debate the legislation on Saturday morning.

The THA election is on Monday.