REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Contact Information

Address: Parliament, Tower D, Levels G-7, The Port of Spain International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain
Phone: (+1 868)6232565/ 6238366
Fax: (+1 868)6254672
Email: jsampson@ttparliament.org
Website: http://www.ttparliament.org

 
 

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In 1498 Christopher Columbus, on his third voyage to the Indies, set sight upon the island of ‘Kairi’ which he later named Trinidad, an island originally inhabited by Amerindians. From 1498 till 1797 Trinidad remained under Spanish rule and was governed by the Cabildo, an assembly representative of the Spaniards presided over by a Governor.

In 1797, Trinidad was captured by the British, led by Sir Ralph Abercromby. Initially Spanish laws were kept until the Crown Colony form of governance was implemented. In 1802 with the Treaty of Amiens, Trinidad was ceded to Britain by the Spaniards, with the island officially becoming a British colony.

Upon becoming a British colony, Trinidad was not granted an elected assembly as the British Government feared that the planters, if allowed to rule, would make it difficult for the Government to exercise its will with regards to the issue of the abolition of slavery and the slave trade. It was therefore easier for the British Government to legislate directly through the Crown Colony system rather than an elected assembly. It is to be noted that a distinguishing feature of Crown Colony governance is the absence of elected members in the Legislative Council.

As the abolition of slavery approached it was not until the end of 1831 that a purely nominated Legislative Council was established whereby its members would all be nominated by the GovernorIn November 1888, Trinidad and Tobago were united by an order-in-council, which did not take effect until January 1, 1889. Under this new arrangement, there was now a single governor.

The Legislative Council underwent several changes during the period 1831 and 1925. When the first general elections were held in Trinidad and Tobago in 1925 only those male candidates who had considerably high incomes, owned substantial property and literate in English were eligible to contest in the elections. This meant that the working class, even the lower and middle classes could not qualify to be candidates and were not eligible to vote.  It was in the year 1946 that Universal Adult Suffrage with no qualifications or hindrances was introduced.

A new constitution in 1950 saw the Council being presided over by an elected Speaker instead of the governor. The period 1950-1956 saw intensified demands for social and political reform. It was against this backdrop that the People’s National Movement (PNM) was born. Led by Dr. Eric Williams, the PNM introduced a new intellectual style in Trinidad and Tobago’s political landscape. Agitating for self-governance based on a bicameral legislature with a ministerial system of government, the PNM won the 1956 elections, earning thirteen out of twenty-four seats.  Dr. Williams was now Chief Minister and was granted the opportunity to appoint two additional Members to the Legislative Council.

In 1960, the Colonial Office acceded to the PNM’s demands for constitutional reform and the then existing single chamber, Legislative Council was replaced with the introduction of bicameralism in December, 1961. There was now a Senate consisting of twenty-one members and a House of Representatives consisting of thirty members. The 1961 General Election saw the PNM winning twenty (20) seats out of thirty (30) forming a second PNM Government from 1961 to 1966.

 Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from Britain in 1962 and became a Republic within the Commonwealth in 1976.

The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago is a bicameral legislature, made up of two (2) Chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago is made up of the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, who is the Head of the Parliament, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Senate is comprised of thirty-one (31) Members; a Presiding Officer, and three groups of Senators, those who represent the Government, the Opposition and the Independents. Sixteen (16) Senators including the Presiding Officer are appointed by the President on advice of the Prime Minister, six (6) on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition and nine (9) at the discretion of the President. The Senate is presided over by the President of the Senate, a position currently held by Senator the Honourable Timothy Hamel-Smith.

The Presiding Officer for the House of Representatives is the Speaker of the House, a post currently held by the Honourable Wade Mark, MP. The House of Representatives is comprised of forty-one (41) elected Members of Parliament, and forty -two (42) when the presiding officer is selected from outside the group. The House of Representatives is currently comprised of forty-two (42) Members. Members of the House can belong to a political party or be independent.

 


Branch Profile

Seat of Parliament: Port of Spain

Date of First Parliament: December 29, 1961

Population: 1,324,699 (2011 est.)

Constitution: Republic

CPA Branch Formed: 1944

Political Party Distribution

People's Partnership Coalition: 29 seats

Peoples National Movement: 12 seats
Date of Last Election: May 24, 2010


Officers of the Branch

Sen. the Hon. Timothy Hamel-Smith
CPA Office: Branch Joint President 
Parliamentary Office: President of the Senate
 
Hon. Wade Mark, MP 
CPA Office: Branch Joint President 
Parliamentary Office: Speaker of the House of Representatives
 
Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, MP 
CPA Office: Branch Vice-President 
Parliamentary Office: Prime Minister
 
Hon. Dr. Keith Rowley, MP 
CPA Office: Branch Vice-President 
Parliamentary Office: Leader of the Opposition
 
Mrs. Jacqui Sampson-Meiguel 
CPA Office: Branch Secretary 
Parliamentary Office: Clerk of the House of Representatives
 
Mrs. Nataki Atiba-Dilchan
CPA Office: Assistant Branch Secretary 
Parliamentary Office: Clerk of the Senate

 

LIST OF PARLIAMENTARIANS

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Speaker of the House: The Hon. Wade Mark, MP

GOVERNMENT ELECTED HOUSE MEMBERS

1.       Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago: The Hon. KamlaPersad-Bissessar, MP

2.       Minister of Tourism:  The Hon. Chandresh Sharma, MP

3.       Minister of Foreign Affairs: The Hon. Winston Dookeran, MP

4.       Minister of Public Administration: The Hon. Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, MP

5.       Minister of Health: The Hon. Dr.Fuad Khan, MP

6.       Minister of Public Utilities: The Hon. NizamBaksh, MP

7.       Minister of Works and Infrastructure: The Hon. Dr.SurujrattanRambachan, MP

8.       Minister of Housing and Urban Development and Leader of Government Business in the House: The Hon. Dr. Roodal Moonilal, MP

9.       Minister of Transport: The Hon. Stephen Cadiz, MP

10.   Minister of the People and Social Development: The Hon. Dr. Glenn Ramadharsingh, MP

11.   Minister of Education: The Hon. Dr. Tim Gopeesingh, MP

12.   Minister of Community Development: The Hon. Winston Peters, MP

13.   Minister of Legal Affairs: The Hon. Prakash Ramadhar, MP

14.   Minister of Sport: The Hon. Anil Roberts, MP

15.   Minister of Tobago Development: The Hon. Dr.Delmon Baker, MP

16.   Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism: The Hon. Dr. Lincoln Douglas, MP

17.   Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development: The Hon. Clifton De Coteau, MP

18.   Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure: The Hon. Stacy Roopnarine, MP

19.   Minister of Land and Marine Resources: The Hon.JairamSeemungal, MP

20.   Minister of State in the Ministry the Environment and Water Resources: The Hon. Ramona Ramdial, MP

21.   Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration: The Hon. Rodger Samuel, MP

22.   Minister of State in the Ministry of the People and Social Development: The Hon. Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, MP

23.   Minister of Science and Technology: The Hon. Rupert Griffith, MP

24.   Minister of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development:  The Hon. Errol Mc Leod, MP

25.   Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Economy: The Hon. RudranathIndarsingh, MP

26.   Deputy Speaker:Mrs.Nela Khan, MP

27.   Member for Cumuto/Manzanilla: Mr. Colin Partap, MP

 

OPPOSITION MEMBERS

1.       Leader of the Opposition: The Hon. Dr. Keith Rowley, MP

2.       Opposition Chief Whip: Ms. Marlene McDonald, MP

3.       Member for Diego Martin Central: Dr. Amery Bowne, MP

4.       Member for Laventille East/Morvant: Ms. Donna Cox, MP

5.       Member for Point Fortin: Mrs. Paula Gopee-Scoon, MP

6.       Member for Arouca/Maloney: Ms. Alicia Hospedales, MP

7.       Member for Laventille West: Mr.NileungHypolite, MP

8.       Member for Diego Martin North/East: Mr. Colm Imbert, MP

9.       Member for La Brea: Mr. Fitzgerald Jeffery, MP

10.   Member for San Fernando East: Mr. Patrick Manning, MP

11.   Member for Port of Spain North/St. Ann’s West: Ms. Patricia McIntosh, MP

12.   Member for St. Ann’s East: Ms. Joanne Thomas, MP

13.   Member for St. Joseph: Mr. Terrence Deyalsingh, MP

14.   Member for Chaguanas West: Mr. Jack Austin Warner, MP

 

SENATE

President of the Senate: Senator the Hon. Timothy Hamel-Smith

GOVERNMENT SENATORS

1.       Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment and Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Economy: Senator the Hon. Vasant Bharath

2.       Minister of Local Government: Senator the Hon. Marlene Coudray

3.       Minister of Justice: Senator the Hon. Emmanuel George

4.       Minister of Finance and the Economy: Senator the Hon. Larry Howai

5.       Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training: Senator the Hon. Fazal Karim

6.       Minister of Food Production: Senator the Hon. Devant Maharaj

7.       Minister of Communication: Senator the Honourable Gerald Hadeed

8.       Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security: Senator the Hon. EmbauMoheni

9.       Minister of State in the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development: Senator the Honourable Raziah Ahmed

10.   Attorney General: Senator the Hon. Anand Ramlogan

11.   Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs: Senator the Hon. Kevin Ramnarine

12.   Minister of National Security: Senator the Honourable Gary Griffith

13.   Minister of the Environment and Water Resources and Leader of Government Business in the Senate: Senator the Hon. Ganga Singh

14.   Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development: Senator the Hon. BhoendradattTewarie

15.   Vice President of the Senate: Senator James Lambert

 

OPPOSITION SENATORS

1.       Senator Faris Al-Rawi

2.       Senator Shamfa Cudjoe

3.       Senator Camille Robinson-Regis

4.       Senator Dr. Lester Henry

5.       Senator Avinash Singh

6.       Senator Anthony Vieira

7.       Senator Diane Baldeo-Chadeesingh

 

INDEPENDENT SENATORS

1.       Senator Dr. Rolph Balgobin

2.       Senator Helen Drayton

3.       Senator Elton Prescott

4.       Senator Subhas Ramkhelawan

5.       Senator Dr.Dhanayshar Mahabir

6.       Senator Hugh Russell Ian Roach

7.       Senator David Small

        Senator Dr. Victor Wheeler 

 

 

TOBAGO HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

 

The Hon. Orville D. London: Chief Secretary and Secretary of Public Administration, State Lands, Information and Planning

Assemblyman Tracy Davidson-Celestine: Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Community Development and Culture

Councilor Dr. Anslem London: Secretary of Finance, Enterprise Development, Consumer Affairs and Cooperatives

Assemblyman Oswald Williams: Secretary of Tourism and Transportation

Councilor Gary Melville: Secretary of Agriculture, Marine Affairs and the Environment

Assemblyman Godwin Adams: Secretary of Settlements and Labour Department of Settlements

Assemblyman Hilton Sandy: Secretary of Infrastructure and Public Utilities

Assemblyman Whitney Alfred: Secretary of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport

Assemblyman Claudia Groome-Duke: Secretary of Health and Social Services

Assemblyman Ashworth Jack: Minority Leader

Councilor Huey Cadette: Deputy Presiding Officer and Assistant Secretary in the Division of Health and Social Services, Assistant Secretary in the Division of Youth Affairs and Sport

Minority Councilor: Yvette Parks-Caruth