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President Paula-Mae Weekes

A motion to remove the President from office must be backed by solid evidence.

This recommendation comes from attorney at law Martin George, a former member of the Police Service Commission (PSC).

Martin George says the Opposition’s attempts to remove the President cannot be based on assumptions.

“If it is you are coming with a motion of such gravity, you must have the evidence,” the attorney at law asserts. 

“It cannot be based on speculation, supposition, assumption or presumption.  We, as attorneys, know that it’s not what you think happened. It is what you can prove,” he stated.

“So, in those circumstances,” he said, “I am not sure that I have seen anything yet, or even anything said or presented by the Opposition, to merit such an application.”

However, George says, the explanation given by President Paula Mae Weeks is insufficient, and that she owes it to the citizenry to be more transparent.

According to Martin George, the President should refute outright any accusations of political interference.

“One would have thought and maybe hoped—and I say this with the greatest respect and deference—that the Office of the President would have gone into some more clarification, especially as that is the issue most people in the public space are concerned about,” the former PSC commissioner observes.  

He added: “It is important to remember that when you are put in these offices, you are there for the people.  So, it’s not sufficient really to pontificate from on high.  I think sometimes, we need to respect the population enough to give them some sort of an explanation without divulging all the details.”

A motion to remove the President from office was filed pursuant to Section 36 of the Constitution by the Opposition, last Thursday.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC MP maintains the Office of the President has behaved in such a way as to bring the Office into “hatred, ridicule or contempt by interfering or facilitating interference with the Police Service Commission and by proceeding in the circumstances to appoint new members of that Commission”.

The Opposition Leader also believes the President’s conduct “endangered the security of the state” and that President Weekes “neglected to execute her constitutional duties”.

Mrs Persad-Bissessar says the House Speaker must now convene a joint sitting of the Parliament for the motion to be debated.  She notes that if the motion is passed, then a Tribunal is set up to investigate, following which their findings will be submitted for the Parliament’s consideration, so it can be decided whether or not the President should be removed.