THE Prime Minister has announced that Tobago will head back to the polls to break the six-six Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election deadlock of January 25.
Dr Rowley made the announcement at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Prime Minister's official residence in Blenheim, Tobago on Thursday,
He said the Cabinet approved the proclamation of the Tobago House of Assembly (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on February 19 and by the Senate on March 2, and assented to by President Paula-Mae Weekes on March 16).
Rowley said the bill will be proclaimed into law on July 26.
Within 90 days of this date, he said the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) will be required to present a report to Rural Development and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein with a report outlining the boundaries of the 15 electoral districts that the legislation proposes.
He explained the Parliament will be required to approve an order and associated statement laid by Hosein to establish the new electoral boundaries for the 15 districts.
Rowley said once approved by the House of Representatives, there is a 60- 90 day window within which the THA election can be called.
With no new assembly in place and the existing THA Act allowing only the chief secretary to dissolve the assembly to hold an election, Rowley said this new law will provide for the election date to be called after the chief secretary consults with the President and the Prime Minister.
He said he was disappointed that other legislation designed to give Tobago greater internal self-governance was still before the Parliament.