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Trinidad to have its first female president

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Trinidad and Tobago will soon have its first female president.

Come March this year, retired Court of Appeal judge Paula Mae Weekes will make history when she is inaugurated as the first woman to be elected president of Trinidad and Tobago.

Following a 35-minute meeting with Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young announced that Weekes will be the government’s nominee at the Diplomatic Centre, Port of Spain last Friday.

Young said Persad-Bissessar indicated the Opposition had no nominees at this stage, but she indicated she needed to caucus with Opposition members and would contact the government

He said the Constitution stipulates that 12 or more elected members of parliament must sign the nomination form a week before the Electoral College convenes.

The college is set to meet on Jan. 19.

Young explained that once a nominee is unopposed, that individual is automatically the President-elect.

He said Weekes had a stellar career as a jurist in TT, serving as a Justice of Appeal for 11 years before retiring in 2016.

Young also said Weekes has “a very great professional career” at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), spent a short time in private practice and served as a judge in the l990s before being elevated to the Court of Appeal.

Weekes, who was called to the bar in 1982, was the fifth woman to be appointed a judge of the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago.

In August 2012, she acted as chief justice in the absence of Chief Justice Ivor Archie.

Weekes also served as an appeal court judge in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Current President Anthony Carmona five-year tenure in office will come to an end on March 16 this year.

The government has the majority of MPs in the Electoral College to approve Weekes as the next president.

Updated 4:08 pm, January 16, 2018
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