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Monday 23 April 2018
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Tobago

THA Minority Council supports internal self-governance

The Minority Council of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is in full support of greater autonomy for Tobago.

But THA Assemblyman Farley Augustine, speaking with reporters on Tuesday at James Park during the council’s weekly media briefing said it only partly supported the existing Tobago Autonomy Bill.

"We say in part because the bill as it is structured, we believe, has some issues that must be addressed, and of course we reserve the right to prosecute those before the Joint Select Committee of the Parliament.

"Notwithstanding, we will be supporting the process...for greater autonomy for Tobago,” he said.

Last Thursday, a motion moved by THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles at the 13th sitting of the THA's 2017-2021 session called on members to support a Special Select Committee to work with the Tobago Forum of Political Parties to mobilise national support for the Constitution Amendment (Tobago Self-Government) Bill.

In the end, the motion was passed to establish the committee, which will comprise three members of the majority and two from the minority.

On March 9, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley laid a bill in the House of Representatives to encourage Tobago to make its own laws (except in a few areas), as he pushed for more autonomy for the island.

The bill was sent to a Joint Select Committee, which is to report back to Parliament by July 31.

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