The President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
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. 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, usually the Cabinet, the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition. Although the President does not sit in Parliament, he is responsible for the summoning, prorogation and dissolution of Parliament and also gives his assent to Bills.
A person is qualified to be nominated for election as President if he is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago of age thirty five years or upwards who, at the date of his nomination as President 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 and convened and presided over by the Speaker of the House. The President is elected by the Electoral College voting by secret ballot. Ten Senators, the Speaker and twelve other Members of the House of Representatives constitute a quorum of the Electoral College. The President so elected shall normally hold office for a term of five years.
All Bills passed in both Houses of Parliament must be assented to by the President before they become law. The President also appoints Members of Commissions and other senior officials. He is also responsible for appointing Senators - sixteen on the advice of the Prime Minister, six on the advice of the Opposition Leader and nine on his own discretion.
His Excellency Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, SC
His Excellency Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona was born in the tiny coastal village of Los Charros, Palo Seco, on March 7, 1953 to Dennis Stephen and Barbara Carmona.
The eldest of three boys and three girls, Mr. Carmona attended the Santa Flora Government Primary School while the family lived at Dalley’s Village, Santa Flora. After writing the Common Entrance examination, Mr. Carmona passed for Presentation College, San Fernando and then moved on to the University of the West Indies (UWI) where he attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Political Science (Mona, Jamaica), and a Bachelor of Laws (Cave Hill, Barbados).
He taught language and linguistics at the UWI from 1981 to 1983. Later, he returned to UWI to be a senior tutor in politics in the Department of Government for approximately four years. He was also a teacher at the Palo Seco Government Secondary School, the Fyzabad Anglican Secondary School, as well as at St. Hugh’s High School and Merle Grove High School, Kingston, Jamaica.
In 1983, Mr. Carmona was admitted to practice at the Bar of Trinidad and Tobago after completing his training at the Hugh Wooding Law School.
Mr. Carmona has served as a prosecutor at both the national and international levels for some 21 years. He served at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions from 1983-2000, during which time he attained the posts of Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, and also served as Acting Director of Public Prosecutions. From 2001 to 2004, he held the post of Appeals Counsel in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). In this capacity, he successfully prosecuted appeals of persons convicted of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Tribunals, namely generals, camp commanders, soldiers and politicians.
Mr Carmona was the Legal Advisor in criminal law to then President Arthur N.R. Robinson on issues relating to the International Criminal Court and participated in meetings of the Preparatory Committee on the establishment of the ICC.
He was elected a judge at the ICC on 12 December 2011.
President Carmona is the 5th President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. He is married to Reema Harrysingh-Carmona and is a father of two.