PORT OF SPAIN — Speaker of the House of Representatives, Wade Mark, will declare the Chaguanas West seat vacant at the next sitting, a release from parliament stated yesterday.
But there is no clear indication when is the next sitting because the House was adjourned last Friday to a date to the fixed. Therefore “the speaker has instructed the clerk of the house to obtain from the Leader of the House (Roodal Moonilal), confirmation on the date for an early sitting of the House of Representatives”, the release stated.
Moonilal said yesterday that government would determine when the house would next meet at its parliamentary caucus this week.
The announcement of the vacancy by the speaker triggers the counting of the 90 days by the Elections and Boundaries Commission for the holding of the by-election. And the speaker has to make the announcement at a sitting of the house and cannot just put out a public announcement via press release or statement to the nation about the vacancy. Therefore the speaker must await the next sitting, which would be decided by the government.
In a press release issued yesterday, parliament’s communications manager, Jason Elcock, stated that on Friday, April 26, 2013, the speaker received a letter from the former MP for Chaguanas West, Jack Warner, conveying the formal resignation of Warner as a Member of Parliament effective midnight, Friday April 26, 2013.
The release noted that Section 69 (3) of the Constitution states that where a vacancy occurs in the house of representatives within the first four years of the life of the parliament a by-election shall be held to fill such vacancy, not later than 90 days from the date of the announcement by the speaker of the vacancy.
The release stressed however: “Announcements by the speaker … are transacted in the house … under the agenda item “Announcements by the Speaker”.
However, speculation about the possible candidates has begun. Warner has indicated his desire to run again and has launched his campaign for being re-elected.
UNC activists are already proposing the name of former MP Mickela Panday as a possible replacement. (Express)