THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
ESTABLISHMENT OF OFFICE AND ELECTION OF PRESIDENT
22.- There shall be a President of Trinidad and Tobago elected in
accordance with the provisions of this Chapter who shall be the Head of State
and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
QUALIFICATIONS AND DISQUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE OF PRESIDENT
23.- 1. A person is qualified to be nominated for election as President
if, and is not so qualified unless, he is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago of
the age of thirty-five years or upwards who at the date of his nomination has
been ordinarily resident in Trinidad and Tobago for ten years immediately
preceding his nomination.
2. For the purposes of subsection (1) a person shall be deemed to reside in
Trinidad and Tobago if he holds an office in the service of the Government of
Trinidad and Tobago and lives outside Trinidad and Tobago because he is
required to do so for the proper discharge of his functions.
3. A person is not qualified to be nominated for election as President who is
disqualified for election as a memeber of the House of Representatives by
virtue of section 48(1) or any law made under section 48(2).
OTHER CONDITIONS OF OFFICE
24.- 1. Where a member of the Senate or the House of Representatives is
elected as President, his seat in the Senate or the House of Representatives
respectively, shall thereupon become vacant.
2. Except in the case of a person acting as, or performing the functions of
PResident under section 27, but subject to sections 44(2) and 56(8), the
President shall not hold any other office of emolument or profit whether in the
public service or otherwise.
3. The salary and allowances of a President and his other terms of service
shall not be altered to his disadvantage after he has assumed office.
25.- 1. The person holding the office of Governor-General of Trinidad
and Tobago at the commencement of this Constitution shall hold the office of
President under this Constitution until a President is elected under the
provisions of this Chapter and assumes office.
2. Where at any time between the appointed day and the election of the first
President of the Senate under section 45, the President under subsection (1) is
for any reason unable to perform the functions of President then, until the
President under subsection (1) is again able to perform his functions as
President those functions shall be performed by the person who last held the
office of President of the Senate under the former Constitution.
HOLDING OF ELECTIONS FOR PRESIDENT
26.- 1. The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be
responsible for the holding of elections for President.
2. The date of every election under this section shall be announced in the
Gazette by the Speaker within such number of days in advance as may be
3. An election for President shall be held not more than one hundred and twenty
daus nor less than ninety days after the first sitting of the House of
Representatives under this Constitution and the President who is so elected
shall assume office on the expiration of thirty days next after his election.
4. Thereafter, an election for President shall be held not more than sixty days
nor less than thirty days before the expiration of the term of that office.
5. Ehere the office of President becomes vacant under section 34 before the
expiration of the term of that office prescribed by section 33, an election
shall be held to fill the vacancy within ninety days of the occurrence of the
6. Where the date for the assumption of office of a President falls on a Sunday
or public holiday the President shall assume office on the next following day
that is not a Sunday or public holiday.
7. Where the time limited for holding an election for President under section
(3), (4) or (5) has not been complied with, Parliament may make provision for
an extension of the period during which elections may be held.
WHERE OFFICE VACANT
27.- 1. Where the office of President si vacant or the President is
incapable of performing his functions as President by reason of his absence
from Trinidad and Tobago or by reason of illness, the President of the Senate
shall act temporarily as President.
2. Where the President of the Senate is for any reason unable to act as
President under subsection (1) or section 36(2) the functions of President
shall be performed by Speaker.
3. Where the Speaker is for any reason unable to perform the functions of
President under subsection (2), the Vice-President of the Senate shall perform
those functions, so however that a meeting of the Electoral College shall be
held, upon the summons of the Deputy Speaker giving at least forty-eight hours
notice thereof, within seven days of the Vice-President of the Senate
commencing to perform the functions of President for the purpose of holding an
election of a person to fill the vacancy in the office of President under
section 26(5), or of a person to act temporarily as President during such
period as the President is incapable of performing his functions.
4. Upon his election to fill the vacancy in the office of President under
section 26(5) or to act temporarily as President during such period as the
President is incapable of performing his functions in accordance with
subsection (3) the person shall immediately assume office.
28.- 1. There shall be an Electoral College for the purposes of this
Chapter which shall be a unicameral body consisting of all the members of the
Senate and all the members of the House of Representatives assembled
2. The Electoral College shall be convened by the Speaker.
3. The Speaker shall preside as Chairman over tha proceddings of the Electoral
College and shall have an original vote.
4. Subject to this Chapter, the Electoral College may regulate its own
procedure and may make provision for the postponement or adjournment of its
meetings and such other provisions as may be necessary to deal with
difficulties that may arise in the carrying out of elections under this
5. Ten Senators, the Speaker and twelve other members of the House of
Representatives shall constitute a quorum of the Electoral College.
MODE OF ELECTIONS
29.- The President shall be elected by the Electoral College voting by
NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES
30.- A person shall not be a condidate for election as President unless
he is nominated for election by a nomination paper which-
a. is signed by him and by twelve or more members of the House of
b. is delivered to the Speaker at least seve days before the election.
PROCEDURE FOR BALLOTING
31.- 1. The candidate who is unopposed or who obtains the greatest
number of the votes cast shall be declared elected.
2. Where the votes cast for two or more candidates are equally divided the
Speaker shall have and exercise a casting vote.
DETERMINATION OF QUESTIONS AS TO ELECTION
32.- 1. Subject to subsection (2), an instrument which-
a. in the case of an uncontested election for the office of President is signed
and sealed by the Speaker and states that a person named in the instrument was
the only person nominated for the election and was in consequence declared
b. in the case of a contested election is signed and sealed by the Speaker and
states that a person named in the instrumed was declared elected at that
meeting in consequence of the ballot,
shall be conclusive evidence that the person so named was so elected, and no
question as to the validity of the election of the person so named shall be
inquired into in any court.
2. The Court of Appeal shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine
any question as to the validity of an election of a President in so far as that
question depends upon the qualification of any person for election or the
interpretation of this Chapter, and the decision of that Court under this
subsection shall be final.
3. Parliament may make privisions with respect to the persons by whom, the
manner in which and the conditions upon which the proceedings under subsection
(2) may be instituted in the Court of Appeal and subject to any provisions so
made, provisions may be made with respect to these matters by rules of court.
Until such provisions or rules are made the procedure for moving the Court of
Appeal shall be by way of a representation petition.
TERM OF OFFICE
33.- 1. Subject to this section and to sections 34 and 36, a President
elected at an election under section 26(3) or (4) shall hold office for a term
of five years.
2. Parliament may make privision for the postponement of the date of expiration
of the term of office of the President under subsection (1), for a period not
exceeding four months, in order to avoid the holding of an election for that
office during a period of dissolution of Parliament or at a time too close to
the beginning or to the end of such a period.
3. Where for any reason at the date on which the term of office of the
President is due to expire under subsection (1) or (2) there is no person
entitled by election under section 26(4) to fill the office of President upon
its expiration, the current term of that office shall continue until thirty
days after a person is electd to the office of President whereupon the current
term of that office shall expire.
4. Where a person is elected to fill a vacancy in the office of President in an
election under section 26(5) he shall hold office only for the unexpired
portion of the term of office of his predecessor.
VACATION OF OFFICE
34.- The office of President shall become vacant before the expiration
of the term of his office as prescribed by section 33 where-
a. the person holding that office dies or resigns the office by writing signed
by him addressed to the House of Representatives and delivered to the Speaker;
b. he is removed from office under section 36.
REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
35.- The President may be removed from office under section 36 where-
a. he wilfully violates any provision of the Constitution;
b. he behaves in such a way as to bring his office into hatred, ridicule or
c. he behaves in a way that endangers the security of the State; or
d. because of physical or mental incapacity, he is unable to perform the
functions of his office.
PROCEDURE FOR REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
36.- 1. The President shall be removed from office where-
a. a motion that his removal from office should be investigated by a tribunal
is prosed in the House of Representatives;
b. the motion states with full particulars the grounds on which his removal
from office is proposed, and is signed by not less than one-third of the total
membership of the House of Representatives;
c. the motion is adopted by the vote of not less than two-thirds of the total
membership of the Senate and the House of Representatives assembled together;
d. a tribunal consisting of the Chief Justice and four other Judges appointed
by him, being as far as practicable the most senior Judges, investigate the
complaint and report on the facts to the House of Representatives;
e. the Senate and the House of Representatives assembled together on the
summons of the Speaker consider the report and by resolution supported by the
votes of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the Senate and the
House of Representatives assembles together declare that he shall be removed
2. Where a motion is adopted as is provided for in subsection (1)(a), (b) and
(c) the President shall cease to perform any of his functions as President and
the President of the Senate shall act temporarily as President.
3. The procedure of the tribunal shall be such as is precribed, but, subject to
such procedure, the tribunal may regulate its own procedure.
4. Upon the adoption of the resolution in accordance with subsection (1)(c) the
office shall become vacant.
OATH FIRST SCHEDULE
37.- 1. A President shall before entering upon the duties of his office
take and subscribe the oath of office set out in the First Schedule, such oath
being administered by the Chief Justice or such other Judge as may be
designated by the Chief Justice.
2. Subsection (1) shall apply to any person required under this Constitution to
perform the functions of the office of President as it applies to a person
electes as such.
IMMUNITIES OF PRESIDENT
38.- 1. Subject to section 36, the President shall not be answerable to
any court for the performance of the functions of his office or for any act
done by him in the performance of those functions.
2. Without the fiat of the Director of Public Prosecutions, no criminal
proceedings shall be instituted or continued against the President in any court
during his term of office and no process for the President's arrest or
imprisonment shall be issued from anu court or shall be executed during his
term of office.
3. No civil proceedings in which relief is claimed against the President shall
be instituted during his term of office in any court in respect of any act done
by him in his personal capacity whether before or after he entered the office
of President, except on the condition specified in subsection (4).
4. The condition referred to in subsection (3) is that two months must elapse
after a notice in writing has been served on him either by registered post or
by being left at his office stating the nature of the proceedings, the cause of
action, the name, description and address of the party instituting the
proceedings and the relief claimed.
5. A period of limitation prescribed by law shall not run in favour of the
President in respect of a civil action during the period of two months after a
notice in respect of that action has been served on him under subsection (4).
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