The Prime Minister-elect yesterday met with Carmona at President’s House to discuss details of the ceremony which is scheduled to take place at 1.30 pm in order to facilitate some of Rowley’s family members who are due to travel from Tobago to attend. It will be the first inauguration ceremony for a prime minister at Queen’s Hall.
Rowley’s new Attorney General is also to be sworn in at the event. The Cabinet, at minimum, comprises the Prime Minister and Attorney General.
From early yesterday morning, the Prime Minister-elect’s security arrangements intensified. He was escorted to and from President’s House by a Special Branch detail which also included a vehicle from the Office of the Prime Minister bearing the licence plate “PM 1”.
Speaking with members of the media gathered outside President’s House at about 11am, Rowley announced the details of his swearing-in ceremony and also disclosed that he had come to a decision on his choice for the crucial post of Attorney General, but he declined to say who.
However, Rowley disclosed the new Attorney General will be selected from among the elected members of House of Representatives.
Among the pool of elected PNM members of the House of Representatives, several have legal backgrounds or training.
The San Fernando West MP Faris Al-Rawi, who was yesterday said to be among those tipped for the post, is an attorney who obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the West Indies and read for his Masters degree at King’s College, London.
He attended the Hugh Wooding Law School where he obtained the Certificate of Legal Education, graduating in the top of his class.
He was admitted to practice law in Trinidad and Tobago in 1996.
Al-Rawi was an associate attorney in corporate commercial and conveyancing matters with one of the oldest law firms in Trinidad until February 2000. He was a former director at Clico Investment Bank and the Housing Development Corporation.
Also attorneys are Arouca/ Maloney MP Camille Robinson- Regis, Port-of-Spain North/ St Ann’s West MP Stuart Young, and Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds.
Several other PNM MPs have law degrees including: Diego Martin North-East MP Colm Imbert, and Port-of-Spain South MP Marlene McDonald.
Some of the new PNM MPs also have backgrounds in law enforcement such as: retired ACP Glenda Jennings-Smith, the Toco/Sangre Grande MP, and retired major general Edmund Dillon, the Point Fortin MP.
President’s House yesterday said on Monday night — before confirmed Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) results had been forwarded the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Carmona — Carmona called Rowley to offer congratulations.
In a telephone conversation with Rowley, who was then at Balisier House, Carmona extended his sincere congratulations to Rowley and the PNM at their victory at the polls.
The President told Rowley that his victory address to his supporters and by extension to the nation was that of, “a true statesman”.
“His Excellency further complimented Dr Rowley for an address whose motif was one of genuine inclusivity to all, highlighting in laudable terms service to country and that we, the people of Trinidad and Tobago are one,” a media release from President’s House said.
“His Excellency shares with Prime Minister-elect Dr Rowley, as expressed by him during his address, his abiding faith in the potential of our young people and the need to make of them genuine patriots of this Republic.” President’s House said Carmona’s telephone call to Rowley came after hearing Rowley’s victory address and the concession speech by outgoing Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar late on Monday night.
The media release said nothing further in relation to Persad-Bissessar.
“President Carmona also took the opportunity to invite Dr Rowley, Prime Minister-elect to the Office of the President for a mid-morning meeting (yesterday) to discuss, among other things, Prime Minister-elect Dr Rowley’s swearing-in ceremony and that of his Attorney General,” President’s House said.
Up to yesterday afternoon the Chief Election Officer Ramesh Nanan was still in the process of receiving returns from the polling stations.
“He’s actually working on it now as we speak,” said the chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission Dr Norbert Masson at 2.30 pm yesterday. “We want to get the result out as soon as possible.” The results are formally sent by the EBC to the Speaker of the House of Representatives under the law, and to the President as a matter of courtesy, Masson said.
The swearing-in ceremony will be the first of its kind to be held at Queen’s Hall.
In 2010, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was sworn in at Knowsley. However, that building is no longer at the disposal of President’s House as it is occupied by the National Operations Centre.
In 2007, Prime Minister Patrick Manning was sworn in at Woodford Square.
In his earlier terms as Prime Minister, he was sworn in at President’s House.
In 1995, Basdeo Panday was sworn in as Prime Minister at President’s House.
ANR Robinson was sworn in on the lawn at President’s House and George Chambers and Dr Eric Williams were also sworn in at the historic residence.