The Office of the President has denied that President Paula-Mae Weekes refused to appoint Diego Martin Central MP Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing.
A release from Powerful Ladies of TT (PLOTT) claimed that the President did not act on advice to appoint Smith but a statement from President’s House stated that the President was mandated by the Constitution to appoint Ministers of Government whenever advised to do so.
The release said it had come to Weekes’ attention that there was currently in circulation on social media, a message stating “that the President refused to act upon the Prime Minister’s advice and appoint Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing.”
The release said the President Excellency denied unequivocally any such action.
President Weekes refers all citizens to Section 79 (1) of the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago which states: “The President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, may, by directions in writing, assign to the Prime Minister or any other Minister responsibility for any business of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, including the administration of any department of Government.”
The release said this meant the President is mandated by the Constitution to appoint Ministers of Government whenever advised to do so by the Prime Minister unless the individual fails to satisfy a condition required by the Constitution.
President Weekes was said to be greatly distressed and dismayed by this fabrication particularly in light of her reminder to citizens and the media in her Inauguration Address of their duty to report responsibly which includes avoiding disseminating misinformation.