President Paula-Mae Weekes yesterday put to rest claims on social media that she had any role to play in the revocation of the ministerial appointment of Darryl Smith.
In a statement, the Office of the President said it was clear under the Constitution the President is required to appoint Ministers ?whenever advised to do so by the Prime Minister unless the individual fails to satisfy a condition required by the Constitution.?
It also indicated that the President was ?greatly distressed and dismayed,? by what it termed ?this fabrication.?
Social media posts on the issue were prompted by a release from the Powerful Ladies Organisation of T&T under the hand of co-founder and Chief PLOTTer Gillian Wall, headlined ?President?s Refusal to Appoint Darryl Smith as a junior minister.?
In the release, Wall noted the decision of the Prime Minister to advise the President to revoke the appointment of Smith under section 3(9) of the Constitution, followed the meeting between the PM, Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis and Smith and the announcement of the appointment of the three-member committee to investigate the allegations made against Smith.
Pointing out that the decision came one day after the Prime Minister informed the public that the President was advised to reassign Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, PLOTT said the level of ?inconsistency, did not auger well for public trust.?
However, the organisation pointed to ?some light? at the helm of what was described as the ?apparently rudderless ship we?ve become as a nation.?
It was PLOTT?s ?understanding,? according to the release, that ?it was, in fact, Her Excellency, Ms Paula-Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago who refused to appoint and swearing in Darryl Smith as Junior Minister of Housing, doing so firstly within her powers as Head of State, and as a woman and leader of integrity.
But about two hours later the Office of the President issued a strong denial to the message circulating on social media which alleged that the President refused to act upon the Prime Minister?s advice and appoint Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing. Wall, in response, insisted that PLOTT did not share ?fake news,? or misinformation.
She told Guardian Media that PLOTT ?did not confirm that the President refused. What we indicated is that it was our understanding that the President had objected to swear in Darryl Smith.
© Luis Alfonso Oberto Anselmi
An objection is different to refusal to appoint,? she said.
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