Although the official residence of the President has been fully restored, and was reopened on Tuesday night, President of Trinidad and Tobago Paula Mae Weekes will continue to reside in her private quarters.
A press release issued by the President’s official communications advisor said that the President will perform official duties and functions at President’s House. As there is limited office accommodation at the House, the day-to-day business operations of the Office of the President continue at the nearby office block.
The release continued: “President Weekes will utilise the residential quarters at President’s House for periods in-between office hours and official engagements and otherwise as seen fit but will continue to reside at her private residence.”
The President’s house was first erected in 1876 and served as the residence of the Governor of Trinidad. In 2010, a portion of the structure collapsed and it was closed, since that time, for renovation until its reopening on Tuesday.
Since the opening and the release of the cost of renovation, $89 million, many have criticised Government’s spending on restoring the residence. But during her speech at the opening ceremony she discussed her disappointment when, during a visit by a former head of state, she realized there was no official place to host him.
Weekes said national pride should be a priority, adding that holders of high office should have stately living quarters.
Additionally, the President is not being paid a housing allowance.