PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Embattled former sports minister, Anil Roberts, Monday officially resigned from the Trinidad and Tobago parliament, but the coalition People’s Partnership government continued to enjoy a healthy majority in the legislative chamber.
Speaker of the House of Assembly Wade Mark told legislators that he had received a letter from Roberts, indicating his decision to resign as the parliamentary representative for D’Abadie/O’meara which he won in the 2010 general election.
Mark said the letter, submitted at “approximately 9.03 am (local time) met the Constitutional requirements for vacating the seat, adding “in view of the foregoing I declare that the Member for D”Abadie/O’meara has vacated his seat in the House”.
Last week, Roberts submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar in the wake of a damning audit of the controversial multi-million dollar LifeSport programme which revealed it had been riddled with discrepancies, including procurement breaches and the involvement of some persons in criminal activities.
Roberts had consistently denied having done any wrongdoing but said he was resigning with “a heavy heart”.
He becomes the 14th member of the coalition government that won a majority 29-12 seat majority in the last general election, to be booted out of the Cabinet either through resignations, dismissals or cabinet re-shuffles. But his resignation will not trigger a by-election as the Constitution does not make provisions for such in the final year of the term of a government.
The government has since lost former national security minister Austin ‘Jack’ Warner, former justice minister Hubert Volney and now Roberts.
Warner returned to the Parliament after winning the consequent by-election, but Volney, a former High Court judge did not contest the by-election for the St Joseph seat last year.