Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar said the office will function in a way that the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) cannot.
Her remarks were made on Sunday, 12th June, 2011 while speaking with reporters after delivering the feature address at the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Investment Forum at the Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s, when she made the comments.
“There are Central Government services which are not under the ambit of the THA and we will be able to bring those services closer to the people of Tobago than they have been previously,” Persad-Bissessar said.
When asked about the legality of such a move the Prime Minister said that she was not acting outside of the law.
“I am acting fully within the law. I am the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, I will discharge my duties as the Prime Minister not just of Trinidad but of Tobago as well. That is my constitutional duty.”
On Saturday (11th June), Persad-Bissessar announced plans to fully operationalise the office on the sister isle during a celebration in Tobago to mark the People’s Partnership first anniversary.
The announcement came on the heels of claims by THA Chief Secretary Orville London that the Central Government has shown “disrespect” with its continuous attempts to encroach on the THA’s jurisdiction and undermine its authority.
On Friday (10th June), London signalled his intention to take the Central Government to court for its decision to open a CEPEP office in Tobago without the approval of the THA.
(Parts of this article were written with content submitted in a Trinidad Express Newspapers publication)