THA sitting on Monday 1 February 2021, which saw another deadlock in the votes for a Presiding Officer. (Image courtesy THA Assembly Legislature)

The Second Sitting of the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) Legislature, scheduled to continue voting for a Presiding Officer on February 1, 2021, resulted in another deadlock.

The People’s National Movement (PNM) is proposing a new candidate for presiding officer.

The first Sitting took place last week, on Thursday 28 January 2021.

The PNM and the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP), who were sworn in by President Paula-Mae Weekes on January 28th, nominated Ingrid Melville and Julien Skeete, respectively, for the post of Presiding Officer.

Both parties won six seats each at the January 25th THA elections, a deadlock unparalleled in Tobago’s history.

On Monday February 1st, after several rounds of voting by secret and public ballots, the Assembly’s Clerk Merna McLeod suspended the Sitting until Thursday, February 4th.

She took this decision after Assemblymen Ancil Dennis and Tracy Davidson-Celestine suggested that a presiding officer would not be elected under the present circumstances.

Dennis asked that the leaders of the two major parties hold a weekly meeting on the way forward. The PDP disagreed.

Meanwhile, speaking with reporters after the meeting, Davidson-Celestine said the PNM will propose Dr. Kern Johnson as the party’s new choice for presiding officer.