Tobago House of Assembly
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Tobago House of Assembly

Tobago House of Assembly
Eleventh Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Seal of the Tobago House of Assembly
Flag of the Tobago House of Assembly
since 28 January 2021
Ancil Dennis, PNM
since 6 May 2020
Trinidad and Tobago Tobago House of Assembly 2021.svg
Political groups
Caretaker government (6)
Opposition (6)
Last election
25 January 2021
Next election
2025 or earlier
Meeting place
Assembly Legislative Chambers, Jermingham Street, Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is a unicameral autonomous legislative body responsible for the island of Tobago within the unitary state of Trinidad and Tobago. The THA was re-established in 1980[1] to rectify some of the disparities in the relationship between the two islands, though a prior body using the same name existed from 1768 to 1874.[2] In addition to the normal local government functions the THA handles many of the responsibilities of the central government, but has limited ability to collect taxes and impose local law or zoning regulations. At the helm of the Assembly Legislature is the Presiding Officer with the twelve elected assemblymen, and four appointed councillors. Three of the councillors are appointed on the advice on the Chief Secretary and one on the advice of the Minority Leader. The Chief Secretary is the leader of the majority party in the assembly and is at the helm of the Executive arm of the THA.[3]

The current Chief Secretary of Tobago is Ancil Dennis of the People's National Movement, the youngest Chief Secretary in history, in office since May 6, 2020.

As of 20 April 2021, there are only four female assembly members, or 33.3%.


The first THA elections were held on November 24, 1980. The Democratic Action Congress led by A.N.R. Robinson won eight seats and the People's National Movement (PNM) won four seats (a reversal of the 1977 County Council elections in which the PNM won seven seats and the DAC 4). The DAC went on to win the 1984 elections by a margin of 11-1 over the PNM. The National Alliance for Reconstruction (into which the DAC merged in 1986) continued to dominate the THA winning the 1988 elections, and the 1992 elections by an 11-1 margin over the PNM. It won the 1996 elections by a margin of 10-2, with the PNM and an independent candidate winning one seat each.

In the 2001 elections the PNM gained control of the THA, winning 8 seats to the NAR's four. The PNM consolidated their hold on the THA in the January 2005 elections winning 11 seats while the DAC (which reformed after splintering from the NAR in 2004) gained a single seat.

In the 2009 elections held on January 19, 2009, the PNM won 8 seats while a new party, the Tobago Organization of the People won 4 seats.[4]

In the 2013 elections, the TOP was defeated in a landslide by the PNM, losing the 4 seats it held previously, giving the PNM complete control of the THA.[5] However, Chief Seceretary Orville London asked Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to introduce a bill in the country's parliament that would change the country's constitution to allow the President of the Republic to choose two independent councillors at his/her discretion to serve as opposition in the THA in the event of a 12-0 election result.[6]

Current Assembly Members

Incumbent Party Electoral District
  Joel Jack PNM Bacolet/Mount. St. George
  Watson Duke PDP Belle Garden East/Roxborough/Delaford
  Terance Baynes PDP Bethel/Mt. Irvine
  Kelvon Morris PNM Black Rock/Whim/Spring Garden
  Ancil Dennis PNM Buccoo/Mount Pleasant
  Clarence Jacob PNM Canaan/Bon Accord
  Faith B.Yisrael PDP Goodwood/Belle Garden West
  Tracy Davidson-Celestine PNM Lambeau/Signal Hill
  Farley Chavez Augustine PDP Parlatuvier/ L'Anse Fourmi/Speyside
  Zorisha Hackett PDP Plymouth/Golden Lane
  Ian Pollard PDP Providence/ Mason Hall/Moriah
  Marslyn Melville-Jack PNM Scarborough/ Calder Hall

Party Divisions by Assembly

Assembly Election PNM PDP Independent Total seats
11th 25 January 2021 6 6 12
10th 23 January 2017 10 2 12
Election PNM TOP  Independent Total seats
9th 21 January 2013 12 0 12
8th 19 January 2009 8 4 12
Election PNM DAC  Independent Total seats
7th 17 January 2005 11 1 12
Election PNM NAR  Independent Total seats
6th 29 January 2001 8 4 12
5th 19 December 1996 1 10 1 12
4th 7 December 1992 1 11 12
3rd 29 November 1988 1 11 12
Election PNM DAC  Independent Total seats
2nd 26 November 1984 1 11 12
1st 24 November 1980 4 8 12

See also


  1. ^ Tobago Division Of Tourism - About Tobago, Governance Archived 2007-07-10 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Dupont, Jerry (2001). "Trinidad and Tobago". The common law abroad: constitutional and legal legacy of the British empire. William S. Hein Publishing. pp. 295-303. ISBN 0-8377-3125-9. Retrieved 2010.
  3. ^ About the Assembly (THA), Tobago House of Assembly
  4. ^ Staff (22 January 2009). "TOP gains ground, but unhappy with illegal advertising". Trinidad and Tobago Guardian. Retrieved 2009.
  5. ^ Staff (21 January 2013). "CLEAN SWEEP". Trinidad and Tobago Express. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ Staff (24 January 2013). "Orville wants 2 neutral voices". Trinidad and Tobago Express. Retrieved 2013.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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