Persad-Bissessar files motion to have President removed

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Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar holds a copy of the Constitution at a news conference held at the Office of the Opposition Leader in Port of Spain. – PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI

For the first time in history, a motion has been filed seeking to remove a President from office.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, at a media conference on Friday, announced that a constitutional motion was being filed seeking the removal of Paula-Mae Weekes who she accused of bringing the Office of the President into disrepute.

In a media release issued in September, Persad-Bissessar claimed she received information that the Prime Minister met with the President to influence the process of selecting an acting police commissioner.

Persad-Bissessar said the motion against Weekes was filed under Section 36 of the Constitution, noting that a President could only be removed under certain conditions.

“There are specific ways that you can seek to have a President removed from office and those are – the President has behaved in such a way as to bring her office into hatred, ridicule or contempt, the President has willfully violated the Constitution, and that the President has endangered the safety and security of the State.

“There is another one, and I don’t know if we reached there yet, for reason of mental capacity. But the rate some are going, some of us may reach there sooner than later.”

Persad-Bissessar said the motion was warranted and accused Weekes of being influenced by political forces.

She added that the selection of a police commissioner could set the stage for gross abuses of citizens’ rights, and said her party was prepared to pursue the motion fully.

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