Trinidad passes legislation for 2-term limit on prime ministers

PMKamlaPersad-BissessarBPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) –The Trinidad and Tobago parliament early Tuesday morning passed legislation allowing for a two term limit for a prime minister and a run-off in a general election in the event that a successful candidate fails to secure 50 per cent of the votes case.

But the Constitutional Amendment Bill, which was piloted by Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, failed to get the support of two senior government ministers, including Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran. One other government minister abstained during the voting.

Dookeran told legislators during the mammoth 18 hour parliamentary session that he could not sit there and “allow the next generation’s interest to be compromised by the politics of today”.

The legislation, which the government said needed just a simple majority to be passed, also allows for a mechanism to recall legislators.

As she piloted the legislation on Monday, Prime Minister Persad Bissessar told parliament that she would lift the collective responsibility of Cabinet in order to allow government legislators to vote according to their consciences.

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