“Her Excellency is greatly distressed and dismayed by this fabrication, particularly in light of her reminder to citizens and the media in her Inauguration Address of their duty to report responsibly, which includes avoiding disseminating misinformation.”
The following release from the Office of the President comes in response to a media statement by Gillian Wall, co-founder of Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT):
It has come to the attention of Her Excellency President Paula-Mae Weekes that there is currently in circulation on social media a message stating that the President refused to act upon the Prime Minister’s advice and appoint Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing.
Her Excellency denies unequivocally any such action. President Weekes refers all citizens to Section 79 (1) of the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago which states:
“The President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, may, by directions in writing, assign to the Prime Minister or any other Minister responsibility for any business of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, including the administration of any department of Government.”
In other words, the President is mandated by the Constitution to appoint Ministers of Government whenever advised to do so by the Prime Minister unless the individual fails to satisfy a condition required by the Constitution. For example, Section 41 of the Constitution which requires that a Senator be a citizen of the minimum age of 25.
Her Excellency is greatly distressed and dismayed by this fabrication, particularly in light of her reminder to citizens and the media in her Inauguration Address of their duty to report responsibly which includes avoiding disseminating misinformation.
PLOTT Media Release—11 April, 2018
Yesterday, the Office of the Prime Minster (OPM) issued a media release informing the public that: “the Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley advised Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in keeping with the provision of Section 3(9) of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, to revoke the appointment of Mr Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.”
The release indicated that the advice followed: “a meeting between the Prime Minister, the Minister of Planning and Development, the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis and Mr Smith during which new information came to the attention of the Prime Minister.”
The public were aslo [sic] advised that: “the meeting resulted in the appointment of a committee to thoroughly review the circumstances surrounding the dismissal and payment of compensation to Ms Carrie-Ann Moreau at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.”
The Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT) takes note that all of the above came one day after the Honourable Prime Minister informed the public that the President was advised to reassign Mr Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
While this level of inconsistency does not augre [sic] well for public trust, there is however, some light at the helm of the apparently rudderless ship we’ve become as a nation.
We at PLOTT are of the understanding that it was in fact Her Excellency, Ms. Paula Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago who refused to appoint and swear in Darryl Smith as Junior Minister of Housing, doing so firstly within her powers as Head of State, and as a Woman and Leader of integirty [sic].
If our understanding is indeed correct and we do believe it to be so, we hereby commend the President on her adamant objection to Mr. Smith’s appointment in light of the sexual harrassment [sic] allegations against him. This level of courage and conviction is indeed consistent with the President’s reminder in her inaugural address that we can all do our part, we can all be a light. PLOTT remains of the firm belief that when acting and leading with integrity we’ll achieve far greater levels of efficiency and consistency.
In closing, we take this opportunity to once again congratulate Her Excellency, Ms Paula Mae Weekes on her appointment as the sixth President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and wish her continued success in reinstilling a sense of hope, trust and confidence in the Office of the President, public leadership and our future as a nation.
Ms Gillian Wall
Co-Founder and Chief PLOTTer
We Are The Change.
Editor’s Note: The PLOTT executive is constituted as follows:
(Board Members) Gillian Wall (Co-founder and Chairperson), Catherine Kumar (Co-founder) and Cherisse Huggins (Secretary and Legal Counsel);
(Leadership Team) Gillian Wall (Chief PLOTTer and Membership Committee Head), Dale Laughlin (PLOTTalogue and Health and Wellness Committee), Lyndira Oudit (Membership Committee, South Trinidad), Anna Henderson (PLOTTalogue Committee), Beverly Wilson (Treasurer), Lisa Ghany (Events Committee Head).