President Paula-Mae Weekes has responded to the backlash she received about the guests of invitees attending the National Awards Ceremony.
In a press release issued by the Office of the President, Weekes said her decision is based on methods that were complied in 2018 and 2019, where invitations are sent to named guests not the guests’ “+1”. She said all invitations to the National Awards Ceremony are issued in the name of the State.
Below is the continuation of the release:
“Guests of the President, the Prime Minister and the Awardees.
These guests are personal to the President, the Prime Minister and the Awardees. In the issuing of these invitations, marital or other relationships is not a consideration and therefore married, affiances, co-habiting, same sex, even casually dating couples, may be invited in this category.
Persons whose offices appear on the Table of Precedence.
These guests are invited by virtue of the position they hold e.g Members of Parliament, Judges, Head of Diplomatic Missions, and they are not entitled to a “+1″, named or not. To them is extended the courtesy of having their spouse included on their invitation; this is not a new policy. Information as to marital status of the office holder and the name of spouse is supplied by the respective offices.
While other practices may have obtained from time to time, the OTP adheres to this formal tradition.
Legislation dealing with co-habitational relationships does not, nor does it intend to, provide a guide to social invitations. It is meant to confer rights as to inheritance, property, survivorship and other legal obligations.”