This is the full text of the bill, which will be debated in Parliament today—the Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2013.
The parent act, the Municipal Corporations Act, can be found online at: Here
An Act to amend the Municipal Corporations Act, Chap 25:04
ENACTED by the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as the Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Act, 2013.
2. In this Act, “the Act” means the Municipal Corporations Act.
3. Section 2(1) of the Act is amended by inserting after the definition “Council” the following new definition:
“elect,” “elected” or “election” means in relation to-
(1.1.a) an Alderman, the selection of an Alderman by a party under section 13;
(1.1.b) a Councillor, the election of a Councillor under section 11;
(1.1.c) a Mayor or Deputy Mayor, the election of a Mayor or Deputy Mayor under section 14;”
4. Section 11 of the Act is amended in subsection (8), by-
(1.1.a) deleting the word “.” at the end of paragraph (i) and substituting the following “;”; and
(1.1.b) inserting after paragraph (i), the following new paragraphs:
“(j) is a person whose name appears on the List of Aldermen under section 13; and
(k) is a person who is a sitting Alderman having been declared an Alderman by the Elections and Boundaries Commission under section 13.”
5. Section 12 of the Act is amended –
(1.1.a) in subsection (2), by deleting all the words after the words “section 5(2)” and substituting the following word “.”;
(1.1.b) by inserting after subsection (2), the following new subsection:
“(2A) Notwithstanding subsection (2), the number of Aldermen to be elected to the Council of each Corporation referred to in the Second Part of the Second Schedule shall be four in number.”; and
(1.1.c) by inserting after subsection (4), the following new subsections:
“(4A) A person who stands for election as a Councillor under section 11 shall not stand for election as an Alderman under this section.
(4B) A person who is a sitting Councillor having been elected Councillor shall not be elected as an Alderman.”.
6. The Act is amended by inserting after section 12, the following new section:
“List of Aldermen
12A. (1) Parties fielding candidates in an election under section 11 for a Municipality or Corporation shall, at the time of nomination of the candidates for Councillors, nominate candidates for Aldermen on a list to be known as the “List of Aldermen.”
(2) The quantum of names on the List of Aldermen to be submitted by each party in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be equal in number to the number of Councillors to be elected in each Council respectively.
(3) Where, during the life of a Council, a person on a List of Aldermen of a party becomes disqualified from serving or is unable for any reason to serve as an Alderman, the relevant party may submit to the Elections and Boundaries Commission the name of a substitute Alderman.”
7. Section 13 of the Act is repealed and the following new sections are substituted:
“Method of election of Aldermen
Requirements for first meeting of Council
Oath of Aldermen
13. (1) Upon the election of Councillors under section 11, the Elections and Boundaries Commission shall, in accordance with subsection (2), allocate the number of Aldermen for each party contesting such election.
(2) The Elections and Boundaries Commission shall allocate the number of Aldermen for each party contesting such election as follows:
(a) a quota of votes per seat shall first be determined by dividing the total number of valid votes cast at an election under section 11 by the number of seats in each Council designated for Aldermen; and
(b) the number of Aldermen to be awarded to a party shall then be determined by dividing the total number of valid votes cast in an election under section 11 in favour of such party by the quota of votes per seat determined in paragraph (a).
(3) Where the result of the calculation under subsection (2)(b) yields a remainder of vacant seats not absorbed by the number of Aldermen awarded to a party or parties concerned, the surplus calculated under subsection (4) for a party competes with other similar surpluses accruing to any other party or parties, and any vacant positions for an Alderman or Aldermen not allocated under subsection (2)(b), shall be allocated to the party or parties concerned in sequence of the highest surplus until all vacant positions of Aldermen have been so allocated.
(4) In computing the surplus of a party for the purposes of subsection (3), first multiply the quota by the number of seats allocated to each party under subsection (2) and then minus that figure from the total number of valid votes received by each party in the election.
(5) The method of allocation of the number of Aldermen provided for under subsections (2), (3) and (4) shall be as provided for in the example set out in the Eleventh Schedule.
(6) Where the counting of the votes has been concluded and -
(a.i.a) the election result for the Councillors under section 11 has been declared; and
(a.i.b) the Elections and Boundaries Commission has determined the number of Aldermen for each party,
the Elections and Boundaries Commission shall, not later than four days after the election referred to in section 11, inform the relevant parties of the number of Aldermen which they have been allotted.
(7) Notwithstanding subsections (1) to (5), where only one candidate stands validly nominated under rule 15(2) and (3) of the Election Rules made under the Representation of the People Act, the Elections and Boundaries Commission shall allocate four Aldermen to the party which fielded the candidate and the party thereafter shall notify the Elections and Boundaries Commission of the names of the Aldermen from its List of Aldermen.
(8) Within four days of being informed by the Elections and Boundaries Commission of the number of Aldermen each party has been allotted, the respective parties shall inform the Elections and Boundaries Commission of the names of the persons drawn from their respective Lists of Aldermen whom they wish to sit as the Aldermen of the Municipalities or Corporations.
(9) Where the parties under subsection (8) inform the Elections and Boundaries Commission of the Aldermen from its List of Aldermen, the Elections and Boundaries Commission shall declare such person to be Aldermen in the Council and that declaration shall constitute their appointment.
(10)n Where at any time after the election of Aldermen under this section a vacancy occurs in the office of Alderman, the Council shall, within 30 days of the occurrence of the vacancy, inform the Elections and Boundaries Commission of the vacancy.
(11) A party shall, where a vacancy occurs under subsection (10) in respect of an Alderman relative to the party, inform the Elections and Boundaries Commission of the name of a substitute Alderman from the remaining names on List of Aldermen of the party to fill the vacancy.
(12) Where, for the purpose of subsection (11), in respect of a Municipality, there are no more names available on the relevant List of Aldermen, the Council shall, at the next meeting after the vacancy arises, elect an Alderman or such Aldermen, , and such persons shall be persons who qualify to be Councillors and who possess demonstrated knowledge, expertise or experience in professional or vocational occupations suitable to the development focus of the Municipality.
(13) Where, for the purpose of subsection (11), in respect of a Municipal Corporation, other than a City or Borough Corporation, there are no more names available on the relevant List of Aldermen, the Council shall at the next meeting of the Municipal Corporation, elect an Alderman or such Aldermen, and such persons shall be persons who qualify to be Councillors and who are members of a Village or Community Council functioning within the Municipality.
(14) Rule 23 of the Election Rules, made under the Representation of People Act, shall not apply to the List of Aldermen as it applies to the election of Councillors.
(15) Notwithstanding subsection (13), where parties are assigned symbols under rule 23(2) of the Election Rules, such symbols shall be applied to the List of Aldermen of the respective parties.
13A. At the first meeting of the Council the business which shall be transacted shall be –
(a) firstly, the production to the Chief Executive Officer of the copy of the declaration of his election as a Councillor delivered to him by the Returning Officer in accordance with the Election Rules made under the Representation of People Act; and
(b) secondly, the taking of the oath of office by those Councillors who have made and subscribed the declaration of acceptance of office and are in attendance at the meeting.
13B. Upon the Elections and Boundaries Commission declaring the election of persons as Aldermen under section 13(9), such persons shall take the oath of office and subscribe the declaration of acceptance of office.”
8. Section 14 of the Act is amended in subsection (2), by deleting the words “on the third day following that on which the election of Aldermen has been held” and substituting the words “four days after the declaration by the Elections and Boundaries Commission of the election of Aldermen.”
9. The Third Schedule to the Act is repealed and the following new Third Schedule is substituted:
“NUMBER OF COUNCILLORS AND ALDERMEN TO BE ELECTED TO THE COUNCIL OF EACH CORPORATION
Name of Municipality Number of Electoral Districts Number of Aldermen
1. City of Port-of-Spain 12 4
2. City of San Fernando 9 4
3. Borough of Arima 7 4
4. Borough of Point Fortin 6 4
5. Borough of Chaguanas 8 4
10. The Act is amended by inserting after the Tenth Schedule the following new Schedule:
“ELEVENTH SCHEDULE (Section 13(5))
Example of Calculation of allocation of Aldermen for Municipality X
A. Calculation of Quota-
Total valid votes cast 25,916
Number of seats per in each
Council designated for Aldermen 4
Quota = A/B = 6,479
B. Calculation of Aldermen Allocation
Total valid votes for Party A 11, 420
Total valid votes for Party B 8,013
Total valid votes for Party C 6,483
Seat allocation for Party A – 11,420/ 6,479 = 1.76
Seat allocation for Party B – 8,013/ 6,479 = 1.23
Seat allocation for Party C – 6,483/ 6,479 = 1.00
Eliminate all fractions therefore –
Seat allocation for Party A – 1
Seat allocation for Party B – 1
Seat allocation for Party C – 1
Number of vacant seats remaining to be allocated (the surplus) –
4 – 3 = 1
C. Calculation of allocation of remaining vacant seats-
(1.1.a) Multiply quota by each party’s number of seats earned-
Party A – 6,479 x 1 = 6,479
Party B – 6,479 x 1 = 6,479
Party C – 6,479 x 1 = 6,479
(1.1.b) Minus for each party from the total valid votes received from each party the figures under paragraph (a)-
Party A – 11,420 – 6,479 = 4,941
Party B – 8,013 – 6,479 = 1,534
Party C – 6,483 – 6,479 = 4
In allotting the remaining vacant seats start allocation with the party having the highest amount under paragraph (b). Therefore Party A will be allocated the remaining seat while Parties B and C will receive no allocation.”