Tobago House of Assembly

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is a unicameral devolved legislative body responsible for the island of Tobago within the unitary state of Trinidad and Tobago. The THA was re-established in 1980[1] to rectify some of the disparities in the relationship between the two islands, though a prior body using the same name existed from 1768 to 1874.[2] In addition to the normal local government functions the THA handles many of the responsibilities of the central government, but has limited ability to collect taxes and impose local law or zoning regulations. At the helm of the Assembly Legislature is the Presiding Officer with the fifteen elected assemblymen, and four appointed councillors. Three of the councillors are appointed on the advice on the Chief Secretary and one on the advice of the Minority Leader. The Chief Secretary is the leader of the majority party in the assembly and is at the helm of the Executive arm of the THA.[3]

Tobago House of Assembly
12th Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Seal of the Tobago House of Assembly
Logo
Flag of the Tobago House of Assembly
Type
Type
Leadership
Abby Taylor, PDP
since 9 December 2021
Farley Chavez Augustine, PDP
since 9 December 2021
Minority Leader
Kelvon Morris, PNM
since 9 December 2021
Structure
Seats15
Tobago Assemblée Décembre 2021.svg
Political groups
Government
  •   Progressive Democratic Patriots (14)

Official Opposition

Elections
First-past-the-post
Last election
6 December 2021
Meeting place
James_Park_C_IMG_2863.JPG
Assembly Legislative Chambers, Jermingham Street, Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago
Website
http://www.tha.gov.tt/

The current Chief Secretary of Tobago is Farley Chavez Augustine of the PDP, the second youngest Chief Secretary in history, in office since December 6, 2021.

HistoryEdit

The first THA elections were held on November 24, 1980. The Democratic Action Congress led by A.N.R. Robinson won eight seats and the People's National Movement (PNM) won four seats (a reversal of the 1977 County Council elections in which the PNM won seven seats and the DAC 4). The DAC went on to win the 1984 elections by a margin of 11–1 over the PNM. The National Alliance for Reconstruction (into which the DAC merged in 1986) continued to dominate the THA winning the 1988 elections, and the 1992 elections by an 11-1 margin over the PNM. It won the 1996 elections by a margin of 10–2, with the PNM and an independent candidate winning one seat each.

In the 2001 elections the PNM gained control of the THA, winning 8 seats to the NAR's four. The PNM consolidated their hold on the THA in the January 2005 elections winning 11 seats while the DAC (which reformed after splintering from the NAR in 2004) gained a single seat.

In the 2009 elections held on January 19, 2009, the PNM won 8 seats while a new party, the Tobago Organization of the People won 4 seats.[4]

In the 2013 elections, the TOP was defeated in a landslide by the PNM, losing the 4 seats it held previously, giving the PNM complete control of the THA.[5] However, Chief Secretary Orville London asked Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to introduce a bill in the country's parliament that would change the country's constitution to allow the President of the Republic to choose two independent councillors at his/her discretion to serve as opposition in the THA in the event of a 12-0 election result.[6]

As of 2021, the THA employed about 60% of Tobago's working population.[7]

Current Assembly MembersEdit

Incumbent Party Electoral District
  Natisha Charles Pantin PDP Bagatelle/Bacolet
  Watson Duke PDP Roxborough/Argyle
  Terance Baynes PDP Bethel/New Grange
  Kelvon Morris PNM Darrell Spring/Whim
  Sonny Grieg PDP Buccoo/Mount Pleasant
  Joel Sampson PDP Bon Accord/ Crown Point
  Faith B.Yisrael PDP Belle Garden / Glamorgan
  Nigel Taitte PDP Signal Hill/ Patience Hill
  Farley Chavez Augustine PDP Parlatuvier/ L’Anse Fourmi/Speyside
  Zorisha Hackett PDP Plymouth/Golden Lane
  Ian Pollard PDP Mason Hall/Moriah
  Trevor James PDP Scarborough/ Mt Grace
  Megan Morrison PDP Mt St George/ Goodwood
  Wane Clarke PDP Lambeau/Lowlands
  Niall George PDP Plymouth/Black Rock

Party Divisions by AssemblyEdit

Session Election PNM PDP Total seats
12th Monday, 6 December 2021 1 14 15
11th Monday, 25 January 2021 6 6 12
10th Monday, 23 January 2017 10 2 12
Session Election PNM Total seats
9th Monday, 21 January 2013 12 12
Session Election PNM TOP Total seats
8th Monday, 19 January 2009 8 4 12
Session Election PNM DAC  Total seats
7th Monday, 17 January 2005 11 1 12
Session Election PNM NAR  Total seats
6th Monday, 29 January 2001 8 4 12
Session Election PNM NAR  Independent Total seats
5th Monday, 9 December 1996 1 10 1 12
4th Monday, 7 December 1992 1 11 12
3rd Tuesday, 29 November 1988 1 11 12
Session Election PNM DAC  Total seats
2nd Monday, 26 November 1984 1 11 12
1st Monday, 24 November 1980 4 8 12
Election
Year
Chief Secretary Summary PNM DAC Independent Total
seats
1st 1980 A. N. R. Robinson
(1926-2014)
  DAC wins control of the House of Assembly under A. N. R. Robinson, forming the first Tobagonian government. 4 8   12
Election
Year
Chief Secretary Summary PNM DAC Independent Total
seats
2nd 1984 A. N. R. Robinson
(1926-2014)
  DAC forms another government under A. N. R. Robinson.

The DAC merges with other political parties to form the NAR.

1 11 12
Election
Year
Chief Secretary Summary PNM NAR Independent Total
seats
3rd 1988 Jefferson Davidson
(c. 1938-)
  NAR forms another government under Jefferson Davidson. 1 11 12
Election
Year
Chief Secretary Summary PNM NAR Independent Total
seats
4th 1992 Lennox Denoon
(1930–2007)
  NAR forms another government under Lennox Denoon. 1 11 148
Election
Year
Chief Secretary Summary PNM NAR Independent Total
seats
5th 1996 Hochoy Charles
(–)
  NAR forms another government under Hochoy Charles. 1 10 1 12
Election
Year
Chief Secretary Summary PNM NAR Independent Total
seats
6th 2001 Orville London
(1945– )
  PNM forms its first government under Orville London. 8 4 12
Election
Year
Chief Secretary Summary PNM DAC Independent Total
seats
7th 2005 Orville London
(1945– )
  PNM forms another government under Orville London. 11 1 12
Election
Year
Chief Secretary Summary PNM TOP Independent Total
seats
8th 2009 Orville London
(1945– )
  PNM forms another government under Orville London. 8 4 12
Election
Year
Chief Secretary Summary PNM TOP Independent Total
seats
9th 2013 Orville London
(1945– )
  PNM forms another government under Orville London. 12 0 12
Election
Year
Chief Secretary Summary PNM PDP Independent Total
seats
10th 2017 Kelvin Charles
(1957– )
Ancil Dennis
(1987– )
 

 

PNM forms another government under Kelvin Charles. 10 2 12
Election
Year
Chief Secretary Summary PNM PDP Independent Total
seats
11th 2021 (January) Ancil Dennis
(1987– )
  First deadlock in the history of the assembly. PNM forms a caretaker government under Ancil Dennis. 6 6 12
Election
Year
Chief Secretary Summary PNM PDP Independent Total
seats
12th 2021 (December) Farley Chavez Augustine
(1985– )
  PDP forms its first government under Farley Chavez Augustine. 1 14 15

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Tobago Division Of Tourism - About Tobago, Governance Archived 2007-07-10 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Dupont, Jerry (2001). "Trinidad and Tobago". The common law abroad: constitutional and legal legacy of the British empire. William S. Hein Publishing. pp. 295–303. ISBN 0-8377-3125-9. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  3. ^ About the Assembly (THA), Tobago House of Assembly
  4. ^ Staff (22 January 2009). "TOP gains ground, but unhappy with illegal advertising". Trinidad and Tobago Guardian. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
  5. ^ Staff (21 January 2013). "CLEAN SWEEP". Trinidad and Tobago Express. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  6. ^ Staff (24 January 2013). "Orville wants 2 neutral voices". Trinidad and Tobago Express. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Chief Secretary: Vaccine mandate a recipe for disaster". Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. 22 December 2021. Retrieved 23 December 2021.

External linksEdit