The Progressive Democratic Patriots(PDP) is expected to reveal its next move today as it aims to resolve the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) impasse and to reconvene an Assembly meeting.
Since the 12 Assemblymen were inaugurated by President Paula-Mae Weekes on January 28, they have met three times- January 28 and February 1 and 4.
However, they were unsuccessful in electing a presiding officer and could not fully reconstitute the Assembly’s legislative arm.
The impasse occurred, after the PDP and People’s National Movement (PNM) having won six seats each in the January 25, THA elections proceeded to vote along party lines for a presiding officer.
This resulted in a tie in the votes, more than 12 times. The PNM nominated and seconded Ingrid Melville for the post, while the PDP did the same for Julien Skeete.
The Assembly’s clerk Myrna McLeod ended the last meeting on February 4 without indicating when the next meeting will be held.
The PDP has since sent her a pre-action protocol letter and is asking the court to interpret the THA Act relating to breaking a tie.
The party has launched a GoFundMe account to pay legal costs.
The PNM is making it clear the only way to bring the issue to a close is through legislative changes in Parliament.
Last Saturday, at a General Council in Trinidad, the Tobago PNM Council leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine, said she supports Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s decision to go through Parliament.
Dr Rowley, who is also the PNM’s National council leader, said draft legislation to amend the THA would go to Parliament.
He said the amended bill would not need opposition support. He said it would address increasing the number of electoral districts from 12 to 15 and how to break a deadlock.