Chief Secretary of Tobago

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Chief Secretary of Tobago
Farley Augustine 2017 (cropped).jpg
Farley Chavez Augustine
since 9 December 2021; 17 months ago (2021-12-09)
StyleChief Secretary
The Honourable
StatusHead of Government
Member of
Reports toTobago House of Assembly
ResidenceOffice of the Chief Secretary
SeatScarborough, Tobago
NominatorTobago House of Assembly
AppointerPresident of Trinidad and Tobago
Term lengthThe Chief Secretary is nominated among the Assembly following quadrennial elections to the Assembly or resignation of the previous Chief Secretary
Formation4 December 1980; 42 years ago (1980-12-04)
First holderANR Robinson AM
Succession7th in order of precedence[1]
DeputyFaith B. Yisrael
SalaryTT$492,360 per annum[2]

The Chief Secretary of Tobago is the leader of the Tobagonian Government.[3] The Chief Secretary chairs the Tobagonian Cabinet and is primarily responsible for the formulation, development and presentation of Tobagonian Government policy. Additional functions of the Chief Secretary include promoting and representing Tobago in an official capacity, at home and abroad, and responsibility for constitutional affairs, as they relate to devolution and the Tobagonian Government.

The Chief Secretary is a Member of the Assembly, and is nominated by the Tobago House of Assembly before bring officially appointed by the President. Members of the Tobagonian Cabinet as well as councilors of the Tobagonian Government are appointed by the Chief Secretary. As head of the Tobagonian Government, the Chief Secretary is directly accountable to the Tobago House of Assembly for their actions and the actions of the Tobagonian Government.

The official office of the Chief Secretary is in Calder Hall Road, Scarborough, Tobago as well as the Tobago House of Assembly on Jermingham Street.

The current Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly is Mr. Farley Chavez Augustine of the Progressive Democratic Patriots, he assumed the chair on December 9, 2021.

Election and term[edit]

The Chief Secretary is almost always the leader of the largest party, or the leader of the senior partner in any majority coalition. There is no term of office for a Chief Secretary. In practice, they hold office as long as they retain the confidence of the chamber; indeed, they are required to either resign or seek a parliamentary dissolution (and with it, new elections) if his or her government "no longer enjoys the confidence of the Parliament." Whenever the office of Chief Secretary falls vacant, the President is responsible for appointing the new incumbent; the appointment is formalised at a meeting between the President and the Chief Secretary designate.

If an incumbent Chief Secretary is defeated in a general election, they do not immediately vacate office. The Chief Secretary only leaves office when the Tobago House of Assembly nominates a successor individual.

The period in office of a Chief Secretary is not linked to the term of members of the Tobago House of Assembly. A maximum four-year term is set for each session of Parliament.

Parliament can be dissolved and an extraordinary general election held, before the expiration of the four-year term.

The Chief Secretary, once appointed continues in office as the head of the devolved Tobago House of Assembly until either resignation, dismissal, or death. Resignation can be triggered off by the passage of a Motion of No Confidence in the Chief Secretary or the Tobagonian Government or by rejecting a Motion of Confidence in the Tobago House of Assembly. In those situations, the Chief Secretary must tender their resignation and the resignation of their government to the president. In such circumstances, the Presiding Officer appoints an interim Chief Secretary, until the Tobago House of Assembly determines on a new nominee to be presented to the President for formal appointment.

Nomination and appointment[edit]

Candidates for the position of Chief Secretary are nominated by the members of the Tobago House of Assembly from among its assembly members at the beginning of each term. The members elect the nominee for the Chief Secretary by majority vote. If no one is elected by a majority of votes cast with the first set of nominations, the process continues until a majority decide to cast their vote for one candidate. This process does not require an absolute majority of the Assembly (currently 7 out of 12 members).

Once this process has occurred the Presiding Officer shall formally send a letter to the incumbent President who must then appoint that nominee to the position of Chief Secretary.

List of Chief Secretaries of Tobago[edit]

Below is a list of office-holders:[4][5][6]

  NAR   (3)   PNM   (3)   PDP   (1)   DAC   (1)
No. Portrait Title

Chief Secretary



Term of office & mandate

Duration in years and days

Party Government Deputy
1 A. N. R. Robinson


AM for Roxborough/Delaford

4 December 1980 16 December 1986 1980 Democratic Action Congress Robinson I 1 Jefferson Davidson





1984 Robinson II
6 years, 12 days
2 Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Jefferson Davidson


AM for Belle Garden/Goodwood

16 December 1986 31 October 1989 National Alliance for Reconstruction Davidson I 2 Hochoy Charles


1988 Davidson II 3 Benedict Armstrong


3 years, 15 days
3 Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Lennox Denoon


AM for Scarborough/Signal Hill

1 November 1989 December 1996 1992 National Alliance for Reconstruction Denoon
4 Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Hochoy Charles


AM for Moriah/Parlatuvier

December 1996 31 January 2001 1996 National Alliance for Reconstruction Charles 4 Cecil Caruth


5 Orville London (cropped).jpg Orville London


AM for Scarborough/Calder Hall

1 February 2001 26 January 2017 2001 People's National Movement London I 5 Cynthia Alfred


2005 London II
2009 London III 6 Hilton Sandy


2013 London IV 7 Tracy Davidson-Celestine


15 years, 360 days
6 Kelvin Charles (cropped).jpg Kelvin Charles


AM for Black Rock/Whim/Spring Garden

26 January 2017 30 April 2020 2017 People's National Movement Charles 8 Joel Jack


3 years, 95 days
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Joel Jack (acting) 30 April 2020 6 May 2020 People's National Movement
6 days
7 Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Ancil Dennis


AM for Buccoo/Mount Pleasant

6 May 2020 8 December 2021 People's National Movement Dennis
1 year, 216 days
8 Farley Augustine 2017 (cropped).jpg Farley Chavez Augustine


AM for Parlatuvier/L’anse Fourmi/Speyside

8 December 2021 Incumbent 2021 (December) Progressive Democratic Patriots Augustine 9 Watson Solomon Duke



Faith B.Yisrael



1 year, 172 days

Timeline of Chief Secretaries[edit]

ANR Robinson
Tracy Davidson-CelestineANR RobinsonColm ImbertJack WarnerANR RobinsonWinston DookeranKeith RowleyKamla Persad-BissessarPatrick ManningBasdeo PandayPatrick ManningANR RobinsonGeorge ChambersEric WilliamsPaula-Mae WeekesAnthony CarmonaGeorge Maxwell RichardsANR RobinsonNoor HassanaliEllis Clarke

Previous nominating elections[edit]

Party key PNM
Chief Secretary nominative elections
Parliamentary term Date Candidates Votes received
Twelfth Assembly 9 December 2021[7]   Farley Chavez Augustine Nominated by   Watson Solomon Duke
Seconded by   Zorisha Hackett
Eleventh Assembly 4 February 2021[8] No Chief Secretary nominative election was subsequently held due to preceding deadlocked Presiding Officer nominative elections;Ancil Dennis remains as Caretaker Chief Secretary[9]
1 February 2021[10]
28 January 2021[11]
Tenth Assembly 6 May 2020   Ancil Dennis Nominated by   Sheldon Cunningham
Seconded by   Hayden Spencer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Revised Table of Precedence for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago". Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  2. ^ "DRAFT ESTIMATES OF THE REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE 2019" (PDF). Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  3. ^ "About The Assembly". March 24, 2015.
  4. ^ (PDF) Retrieved 13 June 2020. {{cite book}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Pemberton, Rita; McCollin, Debbie; Matthews, Gelien; Toussaint, Michael (19 March 2018). Historical dictionary of Trinidad and Tobago (Newition ed.). ISBN 978-1-5381-1146-8. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Trinidad and Tobago". Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  7. ^ 12th Tobago House of Assembly Inauguration Ceremony PT.2 2021, retrieved 2022-05-02
  8. ^ Third Meeting of the Assembly, retrieved 2022-05-02
  9. ^ "THA sitting suspended, deadlocked again | Loop Trinidad & Tobago". Loop News. Retrieved 2022-05-02.
  10. ^ Second Meeting of The Assembly, retrieved 2022-05-02
  11. ^ Meeting of the Assembly, retrieved 2022-05-02