The Assembly Legislature, Scarborough. File photo/Jeff K Mayers
The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) will elect a new deputy chief secretary on Monday, at a special sitting of the House at 10.30 am.
The Office of the Chief Secretary, in a press release on Saturday, said it has received Watson Duke’s resignation letter and it was forwarded to the offices of the President and Presiding Officer for appropriate action. Duke was thanked for his nine months of service as deputy chief secretary. He remains electoral representative for Roxborough/Argyle.
The Office of the Chief Secretary said the election of a new deputy is in accordance with Act 40 of 1996 Section 8 of the THA Act which says “the assemblymen shall elect from among their number, the Chief Secretary and the Deputy Chief Secretary in accordance with section 11 and following such election, the President shall administer to the Chief Secretary and the Deputy Chief Secretary respectively, the oath of office set out in the Third Schedule.”
Duke resigned his position on September 15 after a public fallout with Chief Secretary Farley Augustine over funding to the Roxborough Folk Performers for a trip to New York. Augustine later revealed that the THA was part sponsor to the group to the tune of approximately $400,000.
Duke has argued that this was insufficient and the group was left stranded, hungry and sleeping on the streets in New York. He later stripped Augustine, Faith BYisrael and Alicia Roberts-Patterson of their deputy positions within the Progressive Democratic Patriots.