Tobago House of Assembly

Tobago House of Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Denise Tsoiafatt Angus
Kelvin Charles
Seats12 Assemblymen
12 plurality voting
Meeting place
Scarborough, 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 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 1768–1874.[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 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]

No. Electoral districts[7] Assemblyman[3] (Political affiliation)
1 Bacolet / Mount St. George Joel Jack (PNM)
2 Belle Garden / Goodwood Hayden Spencer (PNM)
3 Bethel / Mt. Irvine Shomari Hector (PNM)
4 Black Rock / Whim / Spring Garden The Hon.Kelvin V Charles (PNM)
5 Buccoo / Mount Pleasant Ancil Dennis (PNM)
6 Canaan / Bon Accord Clarence Jacob (PNM)
7 Lambeau / Signal Hill Jomo Pitt (PNM)
8 Parlatuvier / L’Anse Fourmi / Speyside Farley Augustine (PDP)
9 Plymouth / Golden Lane Marisha Osmond (PNM)
10 Providence / Mason Hall / Moriah Sheldon Cunningham (PNM)
11 Roxborough / Delaford Watson Duke (PDP)
12 Scarborough / Calder Hall Marseline Melville Jack (PNM)

See also[edit]


  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 26 July 2010.
  3. ^ a b About the Assembly (THA), Tobago House of Assembly
  4. ^ Staff (2009-01-22). "TOP gains ground, but unhappy with illegal advertising". Trinidad and Tobago Guardian. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
  5. ^ Staff (2013-01-21). "CLEAN SWEEP". Trinidad and Tobago Express. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  6. ^ Staff (2013-01-24). "Orville wants 2 neutral voices". Trinidad and Tobago Express. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
  7. ^ Electoral Districts in the Electoral Area of Tobago in relation to Tobago House of Assembly Elections, Elections & Boundaries Commission of T&T

External links[edit]