Republic of Trinidad & Tobago

 

Contact Information

Address: Office of the Parliament, Parliamentary Complex Cabildo Building, St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain
Phone: (868) 624-7275
Fax: (868) 625-4672

Profile

In 1498 Christopher Columbus, on his third voyage to the Indies, set sight upon the island of ‘Kairi’ which he later named Trinidad, an island originally inhabited by Amerindians. From 1498 till 1797 Trinidad remained under Spanish rule and was governed by the Cabildo, an assembly representative of the Spaniards presided over by a Governor.

In 1797, Trinidad was captured by the British, led by Sir Ralph Abercromby. Initially Spanish laws were kept until the Crown Colony form of governance was implemented. In 1802 with the Treaty of Amiens, Trinidad was ceded to Britain by the Spaniards, with the island officially becoming a British colony.

Upon becoming a British colony, Trinidad was not granted an elected assembly as the British Government feared that the planters, if allowed to rule, would make it difficult for the Government to exercise its will with regards to the issue of the abolition of slavery and the slave trade. It was therefore easier for the British Government to legislate directly through the Crown Colony system rather than an elected assembly. It is to be noted that a distinguishing feature of Crown Colony governance is the absence of elected members in the Legislative Council.

As the abolition of slavery approached it was not until the end of 1831 that a purely nominated Legislative Council was established whereby its members would all be nominated by the Governor.  In November 1888, Trinidad and Tobago were united by an order-in-council, which did not take effect until January 1, 1889. Under this new arrangement, there was now a single governor.

The Legislative Council underwent several changes during the period 1831 and 1925. When the first general elections were held in Trinidad and Tobago in 1925 only those male candidates who had considerably high incomes, owned substantial property and literate in English were eligible to contest in the elections. This meant that the working class, even the lower and middle classes could not qualify to be candidates and were not eligible to vote.  It was in the year 1946 that Universal Adult Suffrage with no qualifications or hindrances was introduced.

A new constitution in 1950 saw the Council being presided over by an elected Speaker instead of the governor. The period 1950-1956 saw intensified demands for social and political reform. It was against this backdrop that the People’s National Movement (PNM) was born. Led by Dr. Eric Williams, the PNM introduced a new intellectual style in Trinidad and Tobago’s political landscape. Agitating for self-governance based on a bicameral legislature with a ministerial system of government, the PNM won the 1956 elections, earning thirteen out of twenty-four seats.  Dr. Williams was now Chief Minister and was granted the opportunity to appoint two additional Members to the Legislative Council.

In 1960, the Colonial Office acceded to the PNM’s demands for constitutional reform and the then existing single chamber, Legislative Council was replaced with the introduction of bicameralism in December, 1961. There was now a Senate consisting of twenty-one members and a House of Representatives consisting of thirty members. The 1961 General Election saw the PNM winning twenty (20) seats out of thirty (30) forming a second PNM Government from 1961 to 1966.

Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from Britain in 1962 and became a Republic within the Commonwealth in 1976.

The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago is a bicameral legislature, made up of two (2) Chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago is made up of the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, who is the Head of the Parliament, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Senate is comprised of thirty-one (31) Members; a Presiding Officer, and three groups of Senators, those who represent the Government, the Opposition and the Independents. Sixteen (16) Senators including the Presiding Officer are appointed by the President on advice of the Prime Minister, six (6) on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition and nine (9) at the discretion of the President. The Senate is presided over by the President of the Senate, a position currently held by Senator the Honourable Christine Kangaloo.

The Presiding Officer for the House of Representatives is the Speaker of the House, a post currently held by the Honourable Bridgid Annisette-George, MP. The House of Representatives is comprised of forty-one (41) elected Members of Parliament, and forty -two (42) when the presiding officer is selected from outside the group. The House of Representatives is currently comprised of forty-two (42) Members. Members of the House can belong to a political party or be independent.

Branch Profile

Seat of Parliament: Port of Spain
Date of First Parliament: December 29, 1961
Population: 1,398,726 (2018 est.)
Constitution: Republic
CPA Branch Formed: 1944

Political Party Distribution
Peoples National Movement: 23 seats
United National Congress/People’s Partnership: 18 seats

Date of Last Election: September 7, 2015

Officers of the Branch

Sen. the Hon. Christine Kangaloo
CPA Office: Branch Joint President 
Parliamentary Office: President of the Senate

Hon. Bridgid Annisette-George, MP 
CPA Office: Branch Joint President 
Parliamentary Office: Speaker of the House of Representatives

Hon. Dr. Keith Rowley, MP 
CPA Office: Branch Vice-President 
Parliamentary Office: Prime Minister

Hon. Kamla Persad Bissessar, SC, MP
CPA Office: Branch Vice-President 
Parliamentary Office: Leader of the Opposition

Mrs. Jacqui Sampson-Meiguel 
CPA Office: Branch Secretary 
Parliamentary Office: Clerk of the House of Representatives

Mr. Brian Caesar
CPA Office: Assistant Branch Secretary 
Parliamentary Office: Clerk of the Senate (Ag.)

List of Parliamentarians

House of Representatives

Speaker of the House: The Hon. Bridgid Annisette-George, MP

Government Elected House Members

  • Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago: The Hon. Keith Rowley, MP.
  • Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs:  The Hon. Faris Al Rawi, MP
  • Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs: The Hon. Fitzgerald Hinds, MP
  • Minister of National Security and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister: The Hon. Stuart Young, MP
  • Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister (Gender and Child Affairs): The Hon. Ayanna Webster-Roy, MP
  • Minister of Health: The Hon. Terrance Deyalsingh, MP
  • Minister of Education: The Hon. Anthony Garcia, MP
  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Education: The Hon. Dr. Lovell Francis MP
  • Minister of Tourism: The Hon. Randall Mitchell, MP
  • Minister of Housing and Urban Development: The Hon. Major Gen. Edmund Dillon, MP
  • Minister of Social Development and Family Services: The Hon. Camille Robinson-Regis, MP
  • Minister in the Ministry of Planning and Development: The Hon. Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn MP
  • Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs: The Hon. Shamfa Cudjoe, MP
  • Minister of Works and Transport: The Hon. Rohan Sinanan, MP
  • Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of National Security: The Hon. Glenda Jennings-Smith, MP
  • Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Public Administration: The Hon. Maxie Cuffie, MP
  • Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries: Ms. Nicole Oliverre, MP
  • Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Public Utilities: Mr. Adrian Leonce, MP
  • Deputy Speaker: Mr. Esmond Forde, MP
  • Member for Diego Martin Central: Mr. Darryl Smith, MP
  • Member for Port of Spain South: Ms. Marlene McDonald, MP

Opposition Members

  • Leader of the Opposition and Member for Siparia: The Hon. Kamla Persad Bissessar, MP
  • Opposition Chief Whip: Mr. David Lee, MP
  • Member for Fyzabad: Dr. Lackram Bodoe, MP
  • Member for Naparima: Mr. Rodney Charles, MP
  • Member for Oropouche West: Mrs. Vidia Gayadeen-Gopeesingh , MP
  • Member for Couva South: Mr. Rudranath Indarsingh, MP
  • Member for Caroni East: Dr. Tim Gopeesingh, MP
  • Member for Chaguanas East: Mr. Fazal Karim, MP
  • Member for Barataria/San Juan: Dr. Fuad Khan, MP
  • Member for Point-a-Pierre: Mr. David Lee, MP
  • Member for Oropouche East: Dr. Roodal Moonilal, MP
  • Member for Cumuto/Manzanilla: Mrs. Christine Newallo-Hosein, MP
  • Member for Princes Town: Mr. Barry Padarath, MP
  • Member for Mayaro: Mr. Rushton Paray, MP
  • Member for Tabaquite: Dr. Surujrattan Rambachan, MP
  • Member for Couva North: Mrs. Ramona Ramdial, MP
  • Member for Chaguanas West: Mr. Ganga Singh, MP
  • Member for Caroni Central: Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie, MP
  • Member for St. Augustine: Mr. Prakash Ramadhar, MP
Senate

President of the Senate: Senator the Hon. Christine Kangaloo

Vice President of the Senate: Senator Nigel De Freitas

Government Senators

  • Minister of Works and Transport: Senator the Hon. Rohan Sinanan
  • Minister of Communications: Senator the Hon. Donna Cox
  • Minister of Energy and Genergy Industries: Senator the Hon. Franklin Khan
  • Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs: Senator the Hon. Dennis Moses
  • Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development: Senator the Hon. Jennifer Baptiste-Primus
  • Minister of Public Administration and Minister in the Ministry of Finance: Senator the Hon. Allyson West
  • Minister of Public Utilities: Senator the Hon. Robert Le Hunte
  • Minister of Rural Development and Local Government: Senator the Hon. Kazim Hosein
  • Minister of Trade and Industry: Senator the Hon. Paula Gopee-Scoon
  • Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries: Senator the Hon. Clarence Rambharat
  • Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculturre, Land and Fisheries: Senator Avinash Singh
  • Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government: Senator Foster Cummings
  • Senator Dr. Lester Henry
  • Senator Daniel Dookie

Opposition Senators

  • Senator Wade Mark 
  • Senator Khadijah Ameen  
  • Senator Anita Haynes
  • Senator Saddam Hosein
  • Senator Taharqa Obika
  • Senator Sean Sobers

Independent Senators

  • Senator Sophia Chote, SC
  • Senator Amrita Deonarine
  • Senator Dr. Varma Deyalsingh
  • Senator Maria Dillon-Remy
  • Senator Paul Richards
  • Senator Charisse Seepersad
  • Senator Doeroop Teemal
  • Senator Hazel Thompson-Ahye
  • Senator Anthony Vieira
Tobago House of Assembly
  • The Hon. Vanessa Cutting-Thomas: Presiding Officer
  • Assemblyman Joel Jack: Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Finance and the Economy
  • Assemblyman Ancil Dennis: Deputy Presiding Officer and Assistant Secretary in the Division of Health Wellness and Family Development.
  • Assemblyman Marisha Osmond: Secretary in the Division of Education, Innovation and Energy
  • Assemblyman Jomo Pitt: Secretary of Sport and Youth Affairs
  • Assemblyman Marslyn Melville-Jack: Secretary of Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour
  • Assemblyman Shomari Hector: Assistant Secretary in the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation.
  • Assemblyman Hayden Spencer: Secretary of Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Assemblyman Clarence Jacob: Secretary of Settlements, Urban Renewal and Public Utilities
  • Assemblyman Sheldon Cunningham: Assistant Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment
  • Assemblyman Watson Duke: Minority Leader
  • Councilor Kwesi Des Vignes: Secretary of Infrastructure Quarries and the Environment and Leader of Assembly Business
  • Councilor Nadine Stewart: Secretary of Tourism, Culture and Transportation
  • Councillor Tracy Davidson-Celestine: Secretary of Health Wellness and Family Development
  • Councillor Dr. Faith B. Yisrael: Minority Councillor
  • Assemblyman Farley Augustine

Note: Assemblyman Kelvin Charles: Chief Secretary and Secretary of Education, Innovation and Energy demitted office on April 30, 2020. A new Chief Secretary is to be elected, in the meantime the Deputy Chief Secretary will serve as the Acting Chief Secretary