Forum to meet lawyers on draft self-government bill

Consultations are ongoing with various interest groups as Tobago prepares its proposed bill for self-government of the island.

The latest such meeting—which lasted over two hours—took place earlier this week between the Forum of Political Parties, which is leading the island’s self-government efforts and eight trade unions.

Reporting on the meeting, THA Chief Secretary and coordinator of the Forum Orville London told the media on Wednesday (July 13) that the discussions held at the Calder Hall Administrative Complex were “very lively” and “things are moving along”.

He said the representatives of the unions and an industrial relations consultant presented some useful ideas and recommendations during the meeting. Their submissions will be studied by the Forum as it moves forward to finalise the Bill.

The Forum has also written to the leaders of the island’s political parties requesting written submissions or discussions with their representatives.

According to the Chief Secretary, the Tobago Lawyers Association has indicated its willingness to meet with the Forum in the first week of August.

“So basically things are moving along,” London said, “and we should be in a position where we get a fairly good consensus on the maybe ten or twelve issues where I think there is still not the level of consensus with which we would be comfortable. But I really want to commend all those who would have contributed.”

”The Forum consists of the Tobago Platform of Truth (TPT) led by Hochoy Charles and the Tobago Council of the People’s National Movement (PNM), while the Tobago Organisation of the People pulled out of the Forum in 2014 after just one meeting.

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