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The event is celebrated as a public holiday on September 24th because this is the date when the first Parliament met under the new Republican Constitution. The date was removed from the official calendar of holidays from 1999 to 2001 to make way for the Spiritual Baptist (Shouter) Liberation Day which is celebrated on March 30th. The Republic Day holiday was reinstated in 2002. DEFINITION OF A REPUBLIC Republic [noun]: A state or nation in which the supreme power rests in all the citizens entitled to vote (the electorate), and is exercised by representatives elected, directly or indirectly, by them, and responsible to them. ON BEING A REPUBLIC When Trinidad and Tobago achieved independence on August 31st, 1962, the monarchy continued, in that, Her Majesty the Queen remained the Queen of Trinidad and Tobago and all citizens continued to owe allegiance to Her. After many years of being a monarchy, it was decided that Trinidad and Tobago should no longer be required to owe allegiance to the Queen and should therefore become a Republic having a Head of State in its own right, Trinidad and Tobago became a Republic on August 1st, 1976. The event was celebrated as a public holiday on September 24th because this is the date when the first Parliament met under the new Republican Constitution. To bring about such a meaningful and independent status, the conversion of the former Constitution from its character as an Order in Council of the Queen into that of an indigenous instrument of government fashioned by citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, was effected by the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago enacting the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Act, 1976. The Constitution provides for a President who, in the exercise of his functions under the Constitution or any other law, acts in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or a minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet where provision is made by the constitution. The Constitution also provides for the Prime Minister to keep the President fully informed concerning the general conduct of the government of Trinidad and Tobago and to furnish him with such information as he may request on any matter relating to the government of Trinidad and Tobago. A principal feature of the Constitution is the inclusion of a comprehensive set of fundamental human rights and freedoms whereby all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and minorities are provided with effective safeguards against arbitrary government and acts of the executive or other bodies or authorities which may be inconsistent with the concept of the Rule of Law. These fundamental human rights and freedoms have been entrenched in the Constitution and any alteration of any of them can only be effected by the consent of effective majorities of both houses of Parliament. In general, the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago creates, fosters and encourages a truly democratic representative government and more particularly the following factors:
Its recognition and acceptance of fundamental human rights and freedoms to be enjoyed by all regardless of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, wealth, education, status or birth; and the incorporation of adequate machinery for the protection and enforcement of all rights and freedoms; The inclusion of adequate checks and balances in the Legislative, Executive and Judicial arms of Government;
The existence of an enlightened and independent Judiciary charged and vested with the ultimate determination as to whether the law, or executive or administrative acts infringe the enshrined rights and freedoms of the individual; Its provision for representative government deriving its power and authority from the people, which power and authority are exercised through representatives freely chosen and responsible to them; Its acceptance of free periodic elections based on universal adult suffrage held by secret ballot under conditions where the right to vote is exercised without hindrance or pressure; and Its encouragement and built-in machinery for the creation and maintenance of an efficient, honest and impartial civil service.
The various Service Commissions created under the Constitution are intended to ensure that appointments, conditions of service, termination and retirement from the Public Service are based on uniform principles of impartiality and probity. The creation of an Integrity Commission is designed to maintain a high standard of morality in public affairs. Free and fair elections, including the delineation of constituenciesm, are for much the same reason the responsibility of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. Above all, the Constitution firmly establishes a Cabinet system of Government under which Ministers are responsible to the legislature and, through it, to the country. General Elections are held at least every five years to give the people the opportunity of selecting a government. There exists a nonpolitical Public Service, the members of which are expected to observe a high degree of neutrality in politics and loyalty to the government of the day. The same is expected of members of the armed forces and of the police. Under its Republican Constitution, Trinidad and Tobago has a form of government that is truly based upon the principles as well as the practice of Parliamentary Democracy and the Rule of Law. The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is governed by a bicameral Parliament. Republic Day | On Being a Republic | Presidents | Guides to Our Republican System of Government PRESIDENTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Sir Ellis Clarke 1976-1987
Mr. Noor Hassanali 1987-1997
Mr. A. N. R. Robinson 1997-2003
Prof. George Richards 2003-
Organisational Structure of the Government The President | The Executive: The Cabinet | The Prime Minister | The Senate | The House of Representatives | The Speaker of the House of Representatives | Parliament | The Attorney General | The Judiciary | The High Court | Court of Appeal | Director of Public Prosecutions | The Leader of the Opposition | The Ombudsman | The Tobago House of Assembly THE PRESIDENT The Trinidad and Tobago Republican Constitution provides for a President who is the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. He is also the repository of all Executive Authority. Although the President does not sit in parliament. A person is qualified to be nominated for election as President if: 1. He is of the age of thirty five years or upwards and 3. the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition. usually the Cabinet. he is responsible for the summoning. At the date of his nomination as President. His powers are exercisable within certain constitutional limits and most of his constitutional acts must be performed in accordance with the advice of or after consultation with another authority. has been ordinarily resident in Trinidad and Tobago for ten years immediately preceding his nomination The Constitution provides for an Electoral College consisting of all the members of the Senate and all the members of the House of Representatives assembled together . He is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago 2. prorogation and dissolution of Parliament and also gives his assent to Bills.
sixteen on the advice of the Prime Minister. chosen from among the members of the House of Representatives and the Senators appointed by the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister. The President also appoints members of Commissions and other senior officials. who is appointed by the President. Ten Senators. All Bills passed in both Houses of Parliament must be assented to by the President before they become law. The President so elected shall normally hold office for a term of five years. The Cabinet has effective control of the nation's affairs and is headed by the Prime Minister. the Speaker and twelve other members of the House of Representatives constitute a quorum of the Electoral College. The Prime Minister and his Ministers retain office after the dissolution of Parliament until a new Prime Minister is appointed or the old .and convened and presided over by the Speaker of the House. six on the advice of the Opposition Leader and nine on his own discretion. of whom one shall be the Attorney General. THE EXECUTIVE: THE CABINET The Constitution provides for a Cabinet under the general direction and control of the Government. He is also responsible for appointing Senators . The President is elected by the Electoral College voting by secret ballot. the supreme control of the Government and the coordination of Government departments. The functions of the Cabinet include initiating and deciding on policy. collectively responsible to Parliament. The current President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is Professor George Maxwell Richards. and such numbers of other Ministers as he may decide to have.
Where no majority Party emerges or where the party has no undisputed leader. In this case the President uses his discretion. the President must appoint as Prime Minister a member of the House of Representatives who is the leader in the House of the party which commands the support of the majority of members of that House. The Office of the Prime Minister is also responsible for Citizens Initiative Fund. THE PRIME MINISTER Where there is occasion for the appointment of a Prime Minister such as after a General Election. in his view. The Prime Minister's position of authority derives from the majority support in the House of Representatives and from the power to appoint and dismiss ministers. who. the President appoints as Prime Minister the person. The Prime Minister presides over the Cabinet and is responsible for the allocation of functions among ministers. They may vacate office by replacement or resignation or by ceasing to be a member of the House to which they belong.one reappointed. Commissions of Enquiry. Apart from being the leader of the Cabinet which has effective control of the nation's affairs. Under the party system which operates in Trinidad and Tobago that person is usually the party's leader. the Prime Minister shall keep the President fully informed concerning the general conduct of the government and shall furnish the President with such information as he may request with respect to any particular matter relating to the government. The person appointed must be willing to accept the Office of Prime Minister. is most likely to command majority support in the House of Representatives. .
it shall elect a Senator to be President of the Senate. the National Security Council. The President and Vice President of the Senate are elected from among the Members of the Senate in accordance with the provision of Chapter 4. The Office of the Prime Minister also oversees the Business Facilitation Council. 2. Sections 39-45 of the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago. the National Quality Council. Public Concerns/Enquiries.Constitutional Matters. Kamla Persad-Bissessar. National Awards. Sixteen acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister. . consists of thirty one (31) Senators appointed by the President as follows: 1. Nine at his discretion from outstanding persons from economic or social or community organisations and other major fields of endeavor. Policy Planning. Six acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition. Public Service Administration. Public Holidays. Ecclesiastical Affairs. A Senator who is a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary shall not be elected to be the President of the Senate. also called the Upper House. Monitoring and Evaluation. and 3. The current Prime Minister is Mrs. Research. THE SENATE The Senate. Sports and Culture Fund. The Constitution provides that when the Senate first meets after a general election and before it proceeds to the dispatch of any other business. Protocol/Communications Unit.
the House of Representatives was introduced with 30 elected members. the number was increased to 36 and then to 41 in 2005. In 1960. The President of the Senate also acts temporarily as President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago where the office is vacant or when the President is incapable of performing his functions of President by reason of his absence from Trinidad and Tobago or by reason of illness. To be elected to the House of Representatives. The 41 members of the House of Representatives sit under a permanent chairperson. In 1961.The President of the Senate presides over the sittings of the Senate and acts as Chairman of Committees of the whole Senate. The Senate and the House of Representatives regulate their own . Parliament makes laws for the peace. through Bills passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate that are assented to by the President. who is known as 'the Speaker'. order and good government of Trinidad and Tobago. He interprets the Standing Orders and has the power to regulate the conduct of business in all matters not provided for in the Standing Orders. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES The House of Representatives consists of forty one (41) members elected by the people at General Elections. a person must be a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and has resided in Trinidad and Tobago for a period of two years immediately before the date of his nomination for election. or is domiciled and resident in Trinidad and Tobago at that date. A Bill other than a Money Bill may be introduced in either House. Money Bills cannot be introduced in the Senate.
Regulations Standing Orders Privileges House One significant feature of Parliamentary Government in Trinidad and Tobago is the provision where a Minister who is a member of the House of Representatives and a Minister who is a Senator has the right to attend any sitting of the Senate or the House of Representatives. The Standing Orders of the Senate and the House of Representatives provide for the following committees: 1. THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES The Office of Speaker of the House of Representatives is almost as old as Parliament itself. attend any sitting or take part in debates and other proceedings and speak on any motion before any House. In the United Kingdom. 3. In Trinidad and . or on the adoption of either House of a motion for the purpose. except that a Minister who is a senator cannot vote in the House of Representatives. A Minister. be required at the request of the President of the Senate or the Speaker to attend any sitting. 2. He may also move amendments to any motion even though the matter falls within the portfolio of some other Minister. the Office of the Speaker was central to the battle for supremacy between Parliament and the Monarchy. however. attending any sitting of either House may take part in any debate or other proceedings concerning matters falling within his portfolio in such House and may speak on any such motion.procedures by Standing Orders. The Attorney General may. 4.
acts as Chairman of Committees of the House and enforces the observance of all rules for preserving order in its proceedings. Persons who are not members of either the House of Representatives and Senate may also be elected provided he is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and is not disqualified for election as a member of the House of Representatives.Tobago. The Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago recognizes that Parliament may regulate its own procedures and that an order of the House of Representatives is a legitimate decision of the house. the Speaker. he maintains order. enforces the rules as is necessary. Our constitution provides for the House of Representatives to elect a person to preside over it as a Speaker of the House either from among the members of the House of Representatives or from among persons who are not members of the either House. or in his absence the Deputy Speaker presides over each sitting of the House of Representatives. interprets Standing Orders and practices of the House. The Speaker is considered the Guardian of the privileges of the members of the House of Representatives and the chief characteristics required are authority and impartiality. deals with points of order and gives rulings when called upon to do so. . The Constitution provides that when the House of Representatives first meets after any general election and before it proceeds to the dispatch of any other business. it shall elect a person to be the Speaker of the House from among members of the House who are not Ministers or Parliamentary Secretaries. As a result. The Speaker is also responsible for the management and general administration of the House.
Section 3. The Speaker is required to give a completely objective interpretation of Standing Orders and precedent and is considered to be the guardian of the privileges of the members of the House of Representatives. that are assented to by the President. and include traditional. . The Speaker presides over the debates in the House but cannot participate. Current Speaker of the House of Representatives is Mr. Section 5 provides for the Speaker or. enforces the rules as necessitated. While presiding in the House. in the Speaker's absence. Wade Mark. deals with points of order and give rulings when called upon to do so. Deputy Speaker is Dr. interprets Standing Order and the practices of the House. to preside in the House or on Committees. PARLIAMENT The Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago consists of the President. the Senate and the House of Representatives. Parliament makes laws for the peace.statutory and constitutional duties. the chief characteristics required are authority and impartiality. function and duties may be categorized as manifold or multifunctional. The Speaker maintains order. ceremonial.The House of Representatives is regulated by Standing Orders and the Standing Order of the House. The Speaker's powers. deals with the election of a Speaker. Fuad Khan. order and good governance of Trinidad and Tobago through Bills passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. the Deputy Speaker.
Legal proceedings for and against the State are taken: 1. the third traditional branch of Government. which is responsible for administering justice. the Attorney General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority. In the case of civil proceedings. The Chief Justice is President of the Court of Appeal and is the Chairman of the Judicial and Legal Service . The Constitution also provides that in exercising his powers. Apart from the Prime Minister. in the name of the Attorney General. 2. The current Attorney General is Senator the Honourable Anand Ramlogan. responsible for the administration of legal affairs in Trinidad and Tobago. The Attorney General is the principal legal advisor to the Government. THE JUDICIARY The Chief Justice is the Head of the Judiciary. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL The Constitution provides for the office of the Attorney General.For more information about the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago visit the Parliament website. This may be because the Attorney General is responsible for the administration of legal affairs in Trinidad and Tobago and legal proceedings for and against the State. in the name of the State. In the case of criminal proceedings. the Attorney General is the only member of the Cabinet specifically mentioned in the Constitution relating to the Executive.
Other Supreme Court Judges are appointed by the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission. 1976. Ivor Archie. For more information about the Judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago visit the Judiciary website THE HIGH COURT There is provision for eleven Puisne Judges of the High Court. The High Court is a superior court of record and unless as otherwise provided by Parliament shall have all the powers of such a court including all power as is vested in the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago immediately before the . The Chief Justice is ex officio a Judge of the High Court. Chapter 4:01 and the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Act. The Supreme Court consists of the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal which exercise all such jurisdiction and powers as are conferred on them respectively by the Supreme Court of the Judicature Act. The Puisne Judges have in all respects equal power. There are also Courts of Summary Jurisdiction and Petty Civil Courts. The Constitution provides for the Chief Justice to be appointed by the President after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. He is also ex-officio.Commission. Current Chief Justice is The Honourable Mr. a judge of the High Court and can therefore sit in that Court. authority and jurisdiction.
There is vested in the High Court all such original jurisdiction as is vested in and exercisable by the High Court of Justice in England under the provisions of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925(U. Appeals from the Court and the Board lie with the Court of Appeal. the Court is comprised of three judges sitting together. except when the appeal is from a Summary Court or from the decision of a High Court in . who.). There is also an Industrial Court and a Tax Appeal Board which are both superior courts of record. with the Chief Justice as President. but there is a provision for an ombudsman under section 91 of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Act.K. In hearing appeals. APPOINTMENT OF JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT The Chief Justice is appointed by the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.commencement of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 1976. There are no Administrative Courts in Trinidad and Tobago. COURT OF APPEAL There is provision for seven Justices of Appeal. 1976. The other judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission. has all the powers of such a court. The Court of Appeal is a superior court of record and unless as otherwise provided by Parliament. comprise the Court of Appeal.
It is a public one. THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION The Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago states that there shall be a Leader of the Opposition. The current Director of Public Prosecutions is Mr. In such cases. in the President's judgement. in any criminal cases in which he/she considers it proper to: institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court in respect of any offence against the law of Trinidad and Tobago take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that may have been instituted by any other person of authority. is best able to command the support of the greatest number of members of the House of Representatives not in . discontinue. with the special leave of the Privy Council. two judges would comprise the Court. Geoffrey Henderson. any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by himself or any other person of authority. The DPP has power.Chambers. at any stage before judgment is delivered. as of right 2. That person is appointed by the President who. THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS The Constitution provides for a Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). with the leave of the Court of Appeal 3. Appeals from the Court of Appeal may be made to the Privy Council under three circumstances: 1.
The current Leader of the Opposition is Dr.support of the Government.C. . THE OMBUDSMAN The Constitution provides for an Ombudsman who is an officer of the Parliament and who is required to hold no other office of emolument nor engage in any occupation for reward than the duties of his office. delays. Lynette Anthea Stephenson. S. In short. rigidity. However the role of the Ombudsman is an advisory one and the consequence of any investigation he makes can only lead to recommendations and the submission of reports by him to relevant persons. carelessness and perhaps heartlessness of the government bureaucracy. The office is non-political. authorities or to Parliament. The Ombudsman is responsible only to Parliament to which he makes annual reports on the performance of his functions including statistics of the complaints received. The principal function of the Ombudsman is to investigate complaints of administrative injustice in respect to decisions made or acts done or omitted by a Minister or department or authority of Government. the Ombudsman can best be described as a "grievance person" to whom a citizen can make a complaint with a view to redressing the mistakes. Keith Rowley. The current Ombudsman is Ms. and the results of his investigations. The Ombudsman is appointed by the President after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and shall hold office for a term not exceeding five years and is eligible for reappointment.
THE TOBAGO HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Under the Tobago House of Assembly Act 1980. The Assembly consists of twelve Assemblymen elected at an election held in accordance with the provisions of the Representation of . the Assembly shall give due consideration to national policy. State Lands and all other matters with the exception of National Security. This Act was replaced by the Tobago House of Assembly Act 1996 which has increased the administrative and decision-making capacity of the Assembly. Immigration. For the better performance of its functions. the Tobago House of Assembly was established for the purpose of making better provisions for the administration of the island of Tobago and for matters connected therewith. Central Statistics and Legal Affairs which are areas of responsibility of the central government. In the discharge of its responsibility the Assembly may. Foreign Affairs. that is. aid or technical assistance. The Assembly's areas of responsibilities includes Finance. Tourism. enter into such contracts as it deems fit and obtain from international donors any grant. the raising and collection of revenue. the Assembly may devise mechanisms to ensure protection and security of property under its control. Civil Aviation. subject to the Constitution enact "Assembly Laws" which shall be subject to negative resolution of Parliament. The Assembly is responsible for the formulation and implementation of policy in respect of matters pertaining to Tobago and in respect of such responsibility. Meteorology.
Dudley was surprised that his friend Sir Walter Raleigh had not arrived yet. He was surprised but he was not unhappy. which was otherwise known as Point Curiapan. speaking by signs to the friendly tribe of the south. for he felt he could do a quick exploration to see if there was gold. They had left Southampton together and had planned to meet at the Punta del Arenal of Columbus. In his absence the Deputy Chief Secretary presides. A Chief Secretary and Deputy Chief Secretary are elected from among members of the assembly by a secret ballot. Dudley. The Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly is ex-officio a Justice of the Peace and presides over all meetings of the Assembly at which he is present. and maybe if he got gold his friend would just hear of him! Dudley apparently scoured the south of the country from end to . For more information about the Tobago House of Assembly visit the Tobago House of Assembly website Governors of Trinidad and Tobago: 1593-1701 Don Antonio de Berrío and Sir Walter Raleigh | Fernando de Berrío to the Missions DON ANTONIO DE BERRIO AND SIR WALTER RALEIGH Antonio de Berrío was almost ready to make his third expedition to search for El Dorado when entering the Serpent’s Mouth was the pirate and nobleman.the People Act and four councilors. Robert Dudley. No one with a big canoe and a white face. had gathered that no one in a big canoe had passed that way.
but Dudley recognized them at once. but de Berrío refused to come. for he had heard of the expedition. Raleigh heard about Dudley of course but as his own quest was El Dorado he must have felt relieved. He wrote of what he did when he reached there: “I set upon the body-guards in the evening and having put them to the sword I sent Captain Caulfield onwards with sixty soldiers and myself followed with forty more .just 10 days later. the better to know the islande. Some native guides hastened him to a river and lifting his expectations they showed him golden objects glittering through the water. When he arrived at Puerto de los Españoles he sent a message calling de Berrío to the port. Two years before (1593) he had sent Captain Jacob Whiddon to spy on de Berrío. He wrote: “About three leagues to the eastward of this place we found a mine of marcazites which glister like gold. 1595. and of the shoreline he said.” Tired of waiting Dudley was soon on his way. He lifted anchor and sailed from Trinidad on March 12. but the Spaniards had waylaid and killed Whiddon and his men. and joined by great numbers of Amerindians. but his greater interest was in seeing Antonio de Berrío.” On that occasion he saw and wrote of the Pitch Lake with great interest and he also saw the hill called Anaparima. while the ships kept the channel. but all is not gold that glistereth and so we found the same nothing worth. Raleigh did not tarry at Point Curiapan but sailed up to Puerto de los Españoles. whereupon Raleigh with his men. close aboard the shore.end and there was no gold. marched upon San José de Oruña. and Raleigh arrived at Point Curiapan on March 22 . “I myself coasted it in my barge.
son of the former governor. interested in the same enterprise…I would have savoured very much of the ass. *maestro de campo . referring to El Dorado: “To depart 400 or 500 miles from my ships and leave a garrison at my back. naturally. they abode not any fight after a few shots and all being dismissed but only Berrío and his companion. The expedition cost him dearly both in money and health.aide de camp FERNANDO DE BERRIO TO THE MISSIONS: 1597-1687 After the death of Antonio de Berrío y Oruña in 1597 the next governor of Trinidad was another de Berrío-Fernando. Fernando. He was . and he also wrote.” He mentioned what had happened to Whiddon’s men. he was taken ill on the mainland. Before his faithful *maestro de campo.” Raleigh went on to search for El Dorado and. as a child went with his father on some of the expeditions. he died.and so toke their new city. by break of day. De Berrío then organized another search for this legendary city. which they called St Joseph. was appointed governor the very year of his father’s death. I brought them with me aboard. and at the instance of the Indians I set their new city of St Joseph on fire. who. Domingo de Vera. he had no success. such as San Félix and San Tomé. But as a result of their search he and de Berrío founded the nucleus of several cities. and in that year 1597. On returning from his mission Raleigh released de Berrío and departed. could reach him.
some form of trade.responsible for one novelty during his term of office . also served six years. Diego Lopez de Escobar. But the intendant at Caracas. However. San José de Oruña. for Sancho remained only very briefly. He was reported to the Council of the Indies and a residencia (an examination of his governorship) was held at San José de Oruña. His successor. followed by Mújica de Buitrón. and was caught in 1612. but he had had to flee when the Dutch retaliated by sacking and burning down his own capital. Diego de Palomeque. The new governor. These five governors occupied just 12 years. and replacing him was Sancho de Alquiza.1636 to 1640 .he was the one who left his mark. Diego remained listed as governor until 1640 when San José was rebuilt and the new governor made his entry. Juan de Lezama. He was sacked. But this was to be his undoing. and matters returned to normalcy only when Luis de Monsalve y Saavedra came in 1624 and served a term of six years. Cristóval de Aranda. Martín de Mendoza de la Hoz y Berrío. head of the audiencia which replaced Fernando. For this Governor. and Jeronimo de Grados. may . for the Council of the Indies had forbidden Spanish colonies to trade with foreign countries and Fernando transgressed this rule. but although the man who followed them served just four years . although in a negative way. He had traded clandestinely with the Dutch of Tobago for the supply of tobacco as well as African slaves. was bold enough to attack the Dutch who were entrenched in Tobago. was not lucky in his choice of replacements. in 1639.
who was given two terms here: 1682 to 1684 and 1693 to 1696. Apart from the score or so of thatched houses at San José de Oruña it must have been almost exactly the same as when Christopher Columbus passed by in 1498. The king. but did not forget. its effect on Trinidad was to last for all times. They landed at the place later called “little village of Naparima. He was Diego Suárez Ponce de Leon. He stayed here from 1640 to 1656 .not have been the governor with the longest name but he spent a longer period in office than any other Spanish governor of Trinidad. arrived. who had just come to the throne. But within the following three decades there came a governor that was nothing less than a man of destiny. and was the longest-serving British governor of Trinidad. did not act with dispatch. Although what he did made little impact on the period. in the foothills of Mount Naparima.” and from there set out to convert the natives of Trinidad. that about 16 Capuchin priests from Catalonia in Spain. During Diego’s first term one of the first things he did was to write to the king of Spain declaring that the natives of Trinidad were heathens and asking the king to send missionaries to Trinidad to convert these natives to the Holy Roman Catholic faith. But even before they set out-right there on that shore.sixteen years. in 1687. who served from 1813 to 1828. a term not quite attained by Sir Ralph Woodford. The governors came and went but there was very little happening to change the face of the island. the number of natives made them turn to building . then Philip V. and in fact it was five years later.
10 of 1853. a look at the missions of these Capuchins. The taxpayers elected the members of the Cabildo annually. Louis DeVerteuil became the first mayor. performing a wide range of functions. The governor served as the President of Town Council. gave the people of San Fernando the . with twelve members or Town Councilors. the Cabildo's powers were further limited as the new authorities attempted to change it into an English-type municipality. and levied duties and taxes on grog shops. Chacon ordered the Cabildo to be relocated from St. The Cabildo appointed chief judges on the island. 24 of 1914. In 1853. in what was a form of limited representative government. A Town Board took over from the commissioners from 1907 to 1914. the abolition of the Cabildo in 1840 and the creation of a Town Council in Port of Spain. the admission of physicians and surgeons. The last Spanish governor of Trinidad. Joseph to Port of Spain in 1784. leaving Port of Spain in the hands of commissioners. When Trinidad changed hands from Spanish to British rule in 1797. Next. established the Borough Council of Port of Spain. took office as Governor in 1783. scavenged and repaired streets. controlled the police. Don Jose Maria Chacon. effective 1st January 1899. Ordinance No. conferring the loftier status of city on Port of Spain. He immediately set about restructuring the Cabildo by limiting its great power. owing to the rapid development of Port of Spain. soon outlasted its usefulness. supervised markets. The Cabildo exercised wide executive powers. The Cabildo's operations were much broader in scope that the municipal corporation today. Joseph in 1768 by Spanish colonists. For San Fernando. owing to repeated quarrels with the central government over money. The Town Council. Dr. Local Government History of Local Government in Trinidad and Tobago | A List of Local Government Corporations | A List of Mayors of the City of Port of Spain HISTORY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT The earliest type of municipality in Trinidad was the Royal Cabildo.their first mission church. However. Then they moved inland. which was established in St. when the battle to reinstate borough status ended with Ordinance No. the British government revoked borough status. Municipal Corporations Ordinance No. the Royal Goal. 6 of 1840 transformed the Cabildo into the Town Council of Port of Spain.
health. one of the recommendations of the committee was the formation of a system of "district boards. Under these two ordinances. British governor Sir William Robinson did the presentation. Their responsibilities included local roads. San Fernando gained borough status in 1853 by the same ordinance which created the Port of Spain Borough Council. Dr.impetus to press for a similar authority. local government was administered by a system of county council which came into effect in 1945. A chairman presided over the county council.and only . pastures. Robert Johnstone as its first president. making Arima the first ." Subsequently. Regional Corporations. district. and Chaguanas by Act No. In 1846 San Fernando had a Town Council. and social services. county councils had no executive power. On 28th June 1945. The county councils were given executive powers and became local authorities for areas comprising their electoral districts by Ordinance No. roads. The Tobago House of Assembly is responsible for all local government activities on the sister isle. with each regional corporation representing a specified region. Johnstone was elected San Fernando's first mayor in elections on 3rd November of that same year. San Fernando and Arima. cemeteries. Apart from Port of Spain. San Fernando became a city on 18th November 1989. This system can be traced back to the recommendations of two commissions of inquiry early in the 20th century. markets. they acted as advisors to the central colonial authorities in matters such as housing. recreation grounds and markets. as the "district boards" of the Clifford Report came to be known. abattoirs. replaced the county councils. with Dr. Presently there are 14 regional corporations in Trinidad. Members of these councils were elected officials. only Point Fortin and Chaguanas have been elevated to borough status over the years: Point Fortin by Act No. Within each county council there were several electoral districts. British governor Sir Hugh Clifford chaired a committee to inquire into and report on the question of the extension of Local Government throughout Trinidad and Tobago. The next year Ordinance No. or village councils. 21 of 1990. water. 12 of 1980. Each of these electoral districts was represented on the county council by two aldermen and a councilor. public buildings. Act No. and the erection of community centers and halls. 18 of that year created county councils. Act No. 39 of 1952. hospitals. cemeteries. 18 of 1946 superceded this act. the Royal Commission of 1838 also recommended the formation of county councils. . sanitation. land settlement. Among these powers was the authority to give financial and other assistance towards the establishment and encouragement of community. Arima became a borough by Royal Charter in 1888. Previously. school buildings. Queen Victoria granted the Royal Charter. Reporting in 1906. police stations.Royal Borough in the Caribbean. 21 of 1990 brought regional corporations into the local government landscape.
St. Mary. Hamel-Smith 1951 – 1953 Councilor Geo. George. However. Prada 1917 – 1919 Hon. Tang 1950 – 1951 Councilor R. E. St. Cabral 1953 – 1955 Councilor J. No. P. Dr. St. The Assembly is responsible for all local government activities on the island. Andrew. Patrick. Scott 1919 – 1921 Alderman Adam Smith 1920 – 1921 Councilor R. St. 28 of 1991. and further amended by Act No. 37 of 1980. 8 of 1992. E. F. Hutchinson 1955 – 1956 . John. David. Rust 1921 – 1922 1948 – 1950 Alderman N. Tobago is divided into seven parishes: St. with the passage of Act No. Paul and St. Tobago was administered as a county of Trinidad and Tobago in 1945 when the county council system was first introduced. the Tobago House of Assembly was revived. Source: Ministry of Public Administration Government Information Service LOCAL GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS Arima Borough Corporation Chaguanas Borough Corporation Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation Diego Martin Regional Corporation Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation Penal/Debe Regional Corporation Point Fortin Borough Corporation Port of Spain City Corporation Princes Town Regional Corporation San Fernando City Corporation Sangre Grande Regional Corporation San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation Siparia Regional Corporation Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation MAYORS OF THE CITY OF PORT OF SPAIN FROM 1914 1914 – 1917 Hon.This Act was amended by Act. St.
A. G. Richards 1937 – 1938 Councilor G. A. Johnson 1924 – 1925 Councilor C. Neehall 1983 – 1987 Councilor S. Richards 1941 – 1943 Alderman T. Johnson 1929 – 1932 Hon. B. Williams 1994 – 1996 Ethelbert Paul 1996 – 2000 Alderman John Rahael 2000 . O. P. Johnson 1928 – 1929 Councilor G. Shivapersad 1976 – 1979 Alderman M. Cipriani 1932 – 1933 Alderman H. H. Taylor 1968 – 1971 Councilor J. Sarjeant 1987 – 1989 Alderman A.Councilor A. McCollin 1980 – 1983 Councilor G. Cipriani 1940 – 1941 Councilor A. McShine 1922 – 1924 Councilor G. Vidale 1947 – 1948 Councilor S. Mathura 1956 – 1957 Councilor L. Cipriani 1936 – 1937 Alderman A. Hudson Phillips 1946 – 1947 Alderman V. Wooding 1944 – 1946 Councilor H. A. Rostant 1957 – 1960 Councilor D. Bass 1926 – 1927 Councilor G. Holder 1971 – 1974 Alderman F. Achong 1943 – 1944 Councilor H. C. McCarthy 1938 – 1940 Alderman A. A. R. H.2006 Murchison Brown 2006 . Williams 1991 – 1994 Alderman A. A. Mahabir 1960 – 1968 Councilor E.2010 Murchison Brown 2010 Louis Lee Sing . De Freitas 1933 – 1936 Hon. Blackman 1974 – 1976 Councilor L. Henry-Pierre 1925 – 1926 Alderman F. A.
Cabral .Alderman G.