2215775
Dr Winford James

Two political analysts are now questioning the amendments proposed by the Government to fix the protracted deadlock in Tobago.

Political analyst Dr Winford James is calling on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to be clearer on the proposed amendments to the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Act.

Rowley, at a media conference yesterday said that Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi is currently drafting two amendments to the THA Act which is expected to be brought before Cabinet for approval before being taken to Parliament for debate in the next few weeks.

The two drafts include proposing a single person to break any deadlock and the second would seek to increase the Tobago seats from 12 to either 13, 15, or 19.

James yesterday said “details” were missing.

“Is the Prime Minister proposing that a person or an office should be responsible for breaking any future deadlocks?” James asked.

James said that the Prime Minister needed to clarify who the “someone” meant.

“He has not gone into sufficient detail and was not pushed to by the media,” James said.

“The Prime Minister belatedly thought about adopting something his party already utilised to rectify the 18/18 split in the 2001 general elections. Why didn’t they fix Tobago at the same time?” he asked.

James also took the PNM to task for “dragging” its political feet in remedying the 12 seats in Tobago.

He said that since the 2001 deadlock in Trinidad between the PNM and the United National Congress (UNC), the Government should have put things in place to ensure a similar deadlock was not possible in Tobago.

“But they never did and I believe that was deliberate,” James said.

James surmised that the PNM deliberately did not increase the number of seats in Tobago because it depended on the Tobago seats to hold power in T&T.

“Keeping Tobago guarantees power for the PNM,” James said.

Meanwhile, Dr Hamid Ghany yesterday said that there is a much easier way to resolve the ongoing impasse by drawing lots.

“It would be much easier to amend Section 7 of the THA Act to include a tie-breaker mechanism for electing a presiding officer of the THA by drawing lots,” he said.