Former Head of Public Service …”NOT ME AND THE MONARCHY”

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Former Head of the Public Service, Reginald Dumas, took a line from Explainer’s calypso hit, “Not me and the Monarchy” to say he isn’t interested in becoming President of Trinidad and Tobago.

Over the past few days, there were rumours that Dumas, a former diplomat, was one of the names being considered to be the next President on March 19.

Dumas pointed out that the position of President should not be embroiled in party politics.

Dumas said speculation had understandably started and his name was among those mentioned as possible replacements for President Anthony Carmona.

He thanked the many people who had telephoned, commented via the media and and sent emails to expressed their support for his candidature but said he was not interested.

The Electoral College of Parliament will meet on January 19 to elect the new President.

Although President Anthony Carmona’s term ends on March 19, under the Constitution an election must be held no sooner than January 18, 2018, and no later than February 19, 2018.

There are reports that the UNC is discussing their nominees for the position and among the names being considered by the party are Dumas and retired Industrial Court Member, Gladys Gafoor.

Sources also suggested the PNM’s pick for the post is retired CCJ Judge, Rolston Nelson.

Dumas added, “There has, however, been a misunderstanding. I want to make it clear that I am not, repeat not, a candidate for the presidency, and have no intention whatsoever of being, or even seeking to be a candidate.”

Noting that T&T was increasingly riven by divisions of all kinds—racial, political and personal, Dumas continued, “Finger-pointing, snide and condescending remarks, and the public expression of unfortunate sentiments have become the norm.

“Our non-executive president, whoever he or she may be, is our citizen number one, whose election should not, in my view, be the subject of party political machinations and, consequently, of the very fissures that more and more afflict us.”

Dumas asked: “Would it therefore be feasible, instead of yet another adversarial scenario to have the three components of the Electoral College—Government, Opposition and Independents— consult as many members of the public as possible in the short time remaining, then sit together in advance of the election and agree on a single person?”

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