The Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) have threatened to sue the Clerk of the Tobago House of Assembly over the deadlock in voting for a presiding officer and her repeated rejection of their proposals.
In a pre-action protocol letter issued this morning, lawyers representing the 6 assemblymen of the PDP, claimed the Clerk acted unlawfully by failing to use the drawing of lots to break the deadlock.
Attorney Lionel Luckhoo said, “This was clearly not an attempt to secure party-political advantage. If lots were drawn, the PNM was equally likely to succeed in securing its chosen candidate for Presiding Officer as the PDP.”
He claimed that his clients merely wanted the assembly to discharge its constitutional functions on behalf of the people of Tobago.
Luckhoo claimed the Clerk did not have the discretion not to use the drawing of lots as was done several times as the Assembly met to resolve the issue following the January 25 poll.
“There is no reason to suggest that this solution of drawing lots would be inapplicable to the Assembly. On the contrary, it is obviously both applicable to resolving the present deadlock and essential to ensure that the Assembly is able to function,” he said.
“Moreover, the current impasse is unlawfully frustrating the democratic choice of Tobago’s elector.”
In the letter, which was copied to the Office of the Attorney General and the six PNM assembly members, Luckhoo gave the Clerk until next Wednesday to respond to the legal threat.
This all comes as Parliament is set to debate the THA Amendment Bill 2021 this afternoon, which seeks to increase the electoral districts from 12 to 15 so that fresh elections could be held.