By NALINEE SEELAL
Monday, January 28 2008
GOVERNMENT is revising the “archaic” Table of Precedence which comprises the order of protocol of the nation’s highest office holders. A complaint from the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) prompted the Government to revise the list.
This was revealed yesterday by Foreign Affairs Minister Paula Gopee- Scoon who told Newsday that since she assumed office three months ago, she looked at the Table of Precedence and found that it was deficient.
“It is a very sensitive issue and we took the decision to have a review by March, and this review may involve Cabinet, but by then we will be announcing to the public the re-branding of foreign policies,” said Gopee-Scoon.
She added that the issue was very high on the agenda and admitted that the Order of Precedence which is almost 20-years old needs to be reviewed.
The Table of Precedence which is not an official list but was adapted from the 1966 official list, names the President as the country’s highest office holder, with the Prime Minister second, and the Chief Justice third.
Sources revealed that some members of the IRO had expressed concern over the Table of Precedence listing the Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago, as being the country’s eighth highest holder of office, followed by the Bishop of Trinidad and Tobago in ninth position, with the Chief Representative of the Hindu Religion being the tenth highest holder of office.
The Chief Representative of the Muslim Religion holds the 11th spot and the Chief Representative of the Council of Evangelical Churches holds the 12th position.
In a 2005 survey, it was determined that Roman Catholics make up 26 percent of the population, while the Hindus consist of 22 percent, Anglicans are eight percent, Muslims are six percent, Seventh Day Adventists with four percent, and Baptists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians and other religions making up the rest of the population.
Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday holds the 13th highest office in the country.
The Table of Precedence was first adapted by the Governor Generals, but later used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Table of Precedence lists the 33 highest holders of office.
Table of Precedence
1) The President
2) The Prime Minister
3) The Chief Justice
4) The President of the Senate
5) The Speaker of the House of Representatives
6) Cabinet Ministers
7) High Commissioners and Ambassadors (according to the Diplomatic Table of Precedence)
8) The Archbishop of Port of Spain
9) The Bishop of Trinidad and Tobago
10) The Chief Representative of the Hindu Religion
11) The Chief Representative of the Muslim Religion
12) The Chief Representative of the Council of Evangelical Churches
13) The Leader of the Opposition
14) Justices of Appeal
15) Justices of the High Court
16) Ministers accredited to Trinidad and Tobago, Acting High Commissioners and Charges d’Affaires
17) Parliamentary Secretaries
18) The Vice President of the Senate
19) The Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives
20) Members of the Senate
21) Members of the House of Representatives
22) Consuls General, Counsellors in Embassies and High Commissions
23) Accredited Chief Representatives of International Organisations
24) The Chairman of the Public Service Commission, the Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, the Auditor General and the Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (precedence among them being in accor dance with respective dates of their appointments)
25) The Chief of Defence Staff
26) Mayors and Chairmen of County Councils
27) Permanent Secretaries
28) Members of the Public Service Commission and of the Elections and Boundaries Commission 29) Consuls de carriére, First Secretaries in Embassies and High Commissions and Senior Assistant Secretaries.
30) Trade Commissioners
31) Senior Government Officials and Heads of Departments
32) Chairman of the Statutory Boards and Authorities
33) Honorary Consuls, Vice Consuls, Second Secretaries and Third Secretaries.
Well look I learn something here today. I didnt realise that we this focked up in Trinidad.
Imagine the fockin Archibishop of POS is higher on this list than the leader of the Opposition. Somebody who geh elected by the fockin people of this country. Then all these PNM ole nigga go come and use as an excuse that the Opposition is the alternative govt. What assholeness?
Who the fock is the head of the Hindus and Muslims in this country?
I sure dem fockers dem self eh really even know.
Selected people occupy more important positions in this country, that is why we cyah go fockin forth.