Tuesday, June 25, 2013

THA to bring new Proposals for Internal Self-governance

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) will present Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar with its proposal on internal self-governance for consideration next week. The announcement was made on Friday at a news conference in one of the committee rooms in Parliament. Both Persad-Bissessar and THA chief secretary Orville London have agreed that there was a commitment on the issue.

 In early April, London called on the Government to resume talks on internal self-governance for the sister isle saying that the Government was silent on the issue especially after the THA elections. On Friday, Persad-Bissessar said: “My government and the THA chief secretary are committed to internal self-governance for Tobago, but the issue still remains what is the process. The chief secretary has brought a document which we have agreed that we would consider,” she said.

London admitted there were too many public statements made on the issue and the time had come to correct it. “My concern is that this must not reach the Parliament in an adversarial environment, where somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. What you want is, by the time it gets to the Parliament, all the parties are committed to a situation, whereby this document is one, where we can sit down and discuss but we are ensuring that the end of the exercise the objective is achieved. We’ve come too far,” London said.

“The problem of course was about the ‘how’ and for that reason I would have brought to the table a document which is, to a certain extent, related to the Dispute Resolution Commission approach which is in the Tobago House of Assembly Act. The Prime Minister has agreed we will flesh out that document and it will be presented to her early next week.” London said though the dispute resolution approach is mainly for financial matters.


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