Jearlean John: Let Tobago respond to PM on THA polls

UNC deputy political leader Jearlean John said all stakeholders in Tobago must have their say on the Prime Minister’s announcement that the island’s electorate will be returning to the polls soon, in an attempt to break the six-six Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election deadlock of January 25.
At the post-Cabinet news conference at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Blenhein, Tobago on Thursday, Dr Rowley said the Cabinet had approved the proclamation of the THA (Amendment) Act 2021.
Within 90 days of the act being proclaimed law on July 26, he said, the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) must give Rural Development and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein a report outlining the boundaries of the 15 electoral districts the legislation proposes.
Once this is approved by the House of Representatives, he said, there is a 60-90 day window within which the THA election can be called.
With no new assembly in place and the existing THA Act allowing only the chief secretary to dissolve the assembly to hold an election, Rowley said this new law will provide for the election date to be called after the chief secretary consults with the President and the Prime Minister
But John said of the electoral tie of January 25 (six seats each for the PNM and PDP), “No six is bigger than the other six. As a consequence we believe the Tobago people, the PDP, etc, should be allowed to respond to the Prime Minister’s statement.”
Princes Town MP Barry Padarath was not surprised by Rowley’s announcement. He claimed, “It was expected after they subverted the process outlined in the THA standing orders to break the six-six tie.
“In local parlance, we say you beat your own drum and dance to your own tune.”
He also claimed that the PNM “have now gerrymandered a process with the hope that it will yield the results that they want” and “never wanted a process they could not influence.”
The post Jearlean John: Let Tobago respond to PM on THA polls appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.
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