T&T didn’t become a Republic on Sept 24, but here’s why it’s celebrated on that day

Entornointeligente.com /

While Trinidad and To­ba­go cel­e­brates Re­pub­lic Day on Sep­tem­ber 24 each year, this was not the date that the coun­try ac­tu­al­ly be­came a Re­pub­lic.

Trinidad and To­ba­go be­came a Re­pub­lic on Au­gust 1, 1976.

How­ev­er, the event is cel­e­brat­ed as a pub­lic hol­i­day on Sep­tem­ber 24 be­cause this is the date when the first Par­lia­ment met un­der the new Re­pub­li­can Con­sti­tu­tion.

To bring about the Re­pub­li­can 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.

It meant that T&T no longer recog­nised the Queen as the Head of State.

At the time, Sir El­lis Clarke was the Gov­er­nor Gen­er­al of T&T, hav­ing suc­ceed­ed Sir Solomon Ho­choy in 1972.

The Con­sti­tu­tion pro­vid­ed 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.

Clarke was unan­i­mous­ly elect­ed the coun­try’s first Pres­i­dent by the elec­toral col­lege, which com­prised the elect­ed mem­bers of both Hous­es of Par­lia­ment.

The Con­sti­tu­tion al­so pro­vid­ed 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.

The date for the Re­pub­lic Day hol­i­day 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 30.

The Re­pub­lic Day hol­i­day was re­in­stat­ed in 2002.

– Source: Nalis

LINK ORIGINAL: The Trinidad Guardian