Having served in the Tobago House of Assembly, I should know the answer to this, but sadly I do not. What happens if the upcoming THA elections end in a 6-6 tie? (Word on the street is that this is a distinct possibility.)

As far as I am aware, the first order of business after the 12 elected members have been sworn in is to elect a presiding officer.

However, I cannot remember seeing anything in the act that says what happens if candidates vying for the position of presiding officer receive the same number of votes, making it impossible to fill the position.

This is unlike what obtains for the positions of the chief secretary and deputy chief secretary, where there will be a second round of voting if each candidate vying for the respective positions initially receives the same number of votes.

If there is another tie in the second round of voting, then the presiding officer has a casting vote.

Additionally, in accordance with the advice of the chief secretary and minority leader, the presiding officer is responsible for the appointment of the four councillors (three by the chief secretary, and one by the minority leader).

This underscores the importance of the presiding officer’s role.

Indeed, nothing else can happen if a presiding officer is not elected.

Therefore, it is shocking (I hope someone can enlighten me otherwise) that there are no provisions to address a tie in the voting for that position.

I hate to think this will result in a return to the polls. If it does, it means no lessons were learned from the 18-18 tie in the general election in 2001 and the subsequent remedial action.

Even if a tie does not occur this time, it’s likely it will at some time; consequently, steps should be taken now to deal with this eventuality, and not wait until it happens to look for a solution.

Claude A Job

via e-mail


Dennis Hall, better known as Sprangalang, was honoured by having the street to enter Skinner Park named after him.

Special thanks to Mayor Junia Regrello.

There are some people you cannot please. It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

How does one put $1,000, or $10,000, in someone else’s hands, forget it for two weeks or two months, add nothing to it, and expect to receive $20,000, or $50,000, at the end? Is there some obeah that multiplies this money magically?

The four core principles from the International Convention on the Rights of the Child are as follows: non-discrimination, devotion to the best interests of the child, the right to life, survival and development.

They stem from the declarations in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child—a legally binding international agreement setting out the civil, political, economic social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of race, religion or abilities.

In Trinidad and Tobago, however, these rights are found to have been breached in all too common and cavalier a manner, with disquieting frequency, in what appears to be the ingrained behaviour of adults.

I shouldn’t have been surprised by the volume of responses to my last column on domestic violence and sexual abuse. They are obviously prevalent though we can only guess at the extent.

In 2015, our GDP had declined for four consecutive quarters—we were in a recession which was caused by the reduction in foreign exchange earned by the energy sector. This situation continued into 2020, forcing the Government into continuing deficit budgets, the use of the HSF and drawdown on the foreign reserves.

The idiom “might is right” has proven itself to be true more often than not, especially in these times. I am referring specifically to possible broken election promises with regard to prioritisation of major public projects.