Duke writes to THA Presiding Officer: Declare those 13 seats vacant

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Chief Secretary Farley Augustine during his budget presentation at the Assembly Legislature, Scarborough in June. FILE PHOTO –

Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke has written to Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Presiding Officer Abby Taylor, calling on her to declare the seats of the 13 former PDP assemblymen vacant.

In the letter, dated December 7, Duke said the 13 “have all individually and collectively resigned from the PDP and thereby no longer subscribe to the philosophy, ideology, and guiding principles of the party.”

He added, “Having individually and collectively declared themselves as independents, notwithstanding that they contested the election to the THA under the political banner of the PDP and being duly elected by the people of Tobago as such, their individual and collective declarations as ‘independents’ stand contrary to the democratic will of the electorate.

“Their resignations from the political party under which their candidacies were premised, render their continuation as elected representatives and assemblymen offensive to democratic principles and contrary to law.”

Duke said Taylor must act forthwith “so as not to perpetuate the illegality.”