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by Ismail Akwei, at 02:58 am, March 14, 2018, News

Tobago island begins parliamentary process towards self-governance

Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

The island of Tobago within the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has tabled a bill in parliament demanding for self-government and freedom from the central government.

The Tobago Autonomy Bill was laid in the House of Representatives last Friday and was sent to a Joint Select Committee comprising members from the Senate and House of Representatives.

They are expected to report back to Parliament by July 31 for a decision on the Bill which was drafted after months of consultation with public interests groups and political parties.

“This is necessary to provide the autonomy which Tobago requires. I will allow Tobago to play a meaningful role in the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals as well as to advance and align Tobago’s development towards the attainment of Vision 2030,” said Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

The central Trinidad and Tobago government will be compelled to approve the autonomy of Tobago after parliament debates and assigns the level of autonomy the island should get.

The twin-island nation elected its first woman president in January. Justice Paula-Mae Weekes was nominated by the government and endorsed by the country’s opposition leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, to serve as the next head of state at the end of the five-year term of outgoing president Anthony Carmona this month.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has been exercising executive authority on behalf of the president.

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