PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Friday March 9, 2018 – Amendments to the Trinidad and Tobago Constitution that, if passed, would give Tobago autonomy, was today presented to Parliament.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the Constitution (Amendment) (Tobago Self Government) Bill, 2018 was developed “after a very long and transparent process of research, extensive public consultations and a genuine desire to advance and improve the process of granting further autonomy to the Island of Tobago within the context of the sovereign democratic state of Trinidad and Tobago”.
The Bill is being sent to a Joint Select Committee which is to report back to Parliament by July 31.
“The amendment of the Republican Constitution which establishes the present foundation is necessary to provide the autonomy which Tobago requires,” Rowley said.
“This 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.
“The Government humbly submits this bill for the fullest participation through a Joint Select Committee of this Honourable House and trust that it will be received and advanced to the satisfaction of all the people of our beloved Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, particularly our brothers and sisters in Tobago,” he added.
A month after the September 2015 general elections which his People’s National Movement won, Rowley had indicated that his government would begin considering proposals from the Tobago House of Assembly for self–governance that would make Tobago free from the control or power of central Government.