Justice Carmona to be new T&T president

A High Court judge is set to become the next president of Trinidad and Tobago.

Justice Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona will be elected the fifth president of T&T on Feb. 15.

In making the announcement at the Diplomatic Center, St. Ann’s, Port of Spain on Monday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar hailed Carmona as a “distinguished son of the soil,” naming him as the government’s nominee to succeed President Maxwell Richards.

The president is elected by the Electoral College, which comprises members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Persad-Bissessar emphasized that there was great consultation and deliberation on the country’s new president.

She said Carmona was an internationally respected member of the judiciary, having recently been elected as a judge of the International Criminal Court (in the Hague) – which is internationally recognized as having been formed out of a proposal put forward by former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Arthur NR Robinson.

Carmona, she said, has a distinguished career in the criminal justice system over the past 10 years, having served under several administrations.

Persad-Bissessar noted that Carmona held the position of deputy director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and acting director of Public Prosecutions and was also the United Nations prosecutor at the international criminal court for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

She added that Carmona has also been a senior tutor in the department of government and a lecturer in languages and linguistics at the University of the West Indies.

On March 17, the second term of president will expire. Richards has served as president for two decades.

Persad-Bissessar noted that T&T first president, the late Sir Ellis Clarke, swore on Aug. 1, 1976 to uphold the Constitution in good faith with bias no one and showed that citizens were capable of governing ourselves in peace, harmony and progress.

Some 36 years later, Persad-Bissessar said T&T has impressed the world with literary, cultural, scientific, business and technology advancements and developments.

Carmona was a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Legislative Review Committee and National Alcohol and Drug Program, and was appointed to a one-person disciplinary tribunal hearing allegations of misconduct of senior public servants.

In 2000, the status of Senior Counsel (“Silk”) was conferred upon Carmona, four years later before he became a judge.

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