Op-Ed: revisiting Tobago autonomy as part of constitutional reform endeavours in Trinidad and Tobago

By Hamid Ghany, 5 February
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago (photo credit: kirill_makes_pics via pixabay)
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago (photo credit: kirill_makes_pics via pixabay)
The recent unveiling of constitution reform as a political agenda item with a target date for a June consultation has come at a time when the most fundamental constitution reform item on the national agenda remains in a state of limbo. That item is of course the issue of Tobago autonomy. There was great anxiety to settle this matter in 2021 after the 6-6 tie in the THA elections of January 2021 and the momentum rose in 2021 when the actual legislation came to Parliament before the July-August parliamentary recess and then came to a screeching halt upon the resumption of the Parliament after its prorogation in September 2021 in time for the budget. [...] With the death of Hochoy Charles on December 31 instant, a commitment was made by Prime Minister Rowley at his funeral to have the two bills currently lying on the table of the House of Representatives go forward this year. Guardian Media reported on January 5 instant that Prime Minister Rowley said: “The people of Tobago cannot and will not get anything called self-government or anything of that matter which involved the people of Trinidad and Tobago without the involvement of the people of Trinidad.” With so much work having already been done on the two bills, the Prime Minister suggested that Trinidad will now have a say on the way forward. One does not know if that means that the constitution reform committee that has been formed will include the Tobago autonomy matter in their terms of reference or whether the two bills will not form part of their deliberations.
Read the full article here: Trinidad and Tabago Guardian


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