The People’s National Movement (PNM) and Progressive Democratic Patriots(PDP) will meet on Wednesday to discuss a temporary power-sharing arrangement.
The PDP invited the PNM for a face-to-face discussion on the way forward to govern Tobago following the six/six tie in the Tobago House of Assembly(THA) elections on January 25.
On March 3, Dr Rowley called a meeting of all 12 members, asking them to get the island legislature to function. He said as Prime Minister, he will not allow all the current situation to continue.
It was there that the PDP proposed sharing governance. Since then, the PNM has sent a counter-offer to which the PDP replied with another offer.
According to two well-placed sources, both parties want to find an amicable, workable solution to get the THA’s legislative arm functioning.
It has not functioned since December 2020, when the 2017-2020 THA term closed, and elections were called.
The new term did not begin on January 28, 2021, as scheduled, although the 12 assemblymen were inaugurated by President Paula-Mae Weekes.
Despite meeting three times in the Assembly Chamber, they did not agree on a presiding officer.
As provided by law, the THA’s administrative arm continues to be controlled by the former majority group- PNM.
The PDP suggested the two parties share power until the Joint Select Committee on the Tobago Self Government Bill completes its work in May and presents its findings to Parliament. The bill requires a three-fifths majority to pass. Once proclaimed, fresh elections will become due automatically, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said.
If the parties cannot agree, the amended THA Act, recently passed in Parliament – February 17 and March 2, will kick in, triggering fresh elections.