Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Travel


Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

St Lucia PM clarifies term limits report
Published on August 9, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Marcia Braveboy
Caribbean News Now Senior Correspondent
Email: marcia@caribbeannewsnow.com
Tweet: @mbraveboy

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony has debunked a report by a Caribbean news agency that quoted him as saying term limits for government leaders should be decided by the people.

anthony9.jpg
Saint Lucia Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony
“I believe that’s a matter for the people to decide, and I share the view that the people of the country will decide whether they are tired of you or not,” Anthony is reported to have said.

The CMC report, which was also carried by the Trinidad Express, claimed that Anthony was speaking against the decision of the Trinidad and Tobago People’s Partnership coalition government to introduce legislation to amend the country’s constitution to provide two-term limit for prime ministers and the right to recall legislators.

However, Anthony told local media that he was addressing the bigger picture of constitutional reform in the Caribbean and was not specifically referring to the Kamla Persad-Bissessar-led coalition government’s proposal on constitutional reform, which he asserted is a local Trinidad and Tobago matter.

“I think she is speaking specifically to the domestic situation in Trinidad and Tobago. Both her government as well as the predecessor government under Manning went through some very difficult constitutional and political issues and constitutional reform has been on the agenda in Trinidad and Tobago for some time,” he explained.

Anthony acknowledges, though, that Persad-Bissessar’s proposal is “nothing new” and, in fact, constitutional reform issues have been championed throughout the length and breadth of the Caribbean.



“And I’ll put it to you that nearly every report of every constitutional commission in the Caribbean makes reference to these issues. Nothing new,” he pointed out.

The Saint Lucia prime minister said he has no problems with term limits for members of parliaments once they are based on serious infractions.

As for term limits for prime ministers?

“I believe that is a matter for people to determine. I share the view which says the people of the country decide whether they are tired of you or not,” Anthony said.

Constitutional reform is the new buzz in the Caribbean. At least three regional governments, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, have started this process to make amendments to their respective constitutions.

bissessar28.jpg
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
Another key change proposed for the Trinidad and Tobago constitution is the provision for run-off elections, making eligible only persons who win more than 50% of votes in a constituency to be elected as an MP. If all candidates fail to achieve this, a “supplementary poll” will trigger such a run-off between the top two candidates within 15 days. The appointment of a prime minister and convening of Parliament will be on hold pending all supplementary polls.

The Trinidad and Tobago prime minister said 91 countries worldwide have term limits and she wants her country to become number 92. She sees these changes as opening doors for more people who would have an interest in politics.

“We have had our fair share of leaders who continue to rule and refused to give way even though it was obvious that the time for change had come. This can suffocate new talent and stifle a democracy,” Persad-Bissessar said.

In Grenada, an initial report has been submitted to the Cabinet by a constitution reform advisory committee, which covered 25 proposed areas for change to the constitution but only 12 were recommended for Cabinet approval.

elvin_nimrod6.jpg
Grenada Legal Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Elvin Nimrod
The 12 amendments include the proposal for Grenada to recognize the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court of appeal, as well as for an official country name change from the “State of Grenada” to “Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.”

The people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique have lobbied for this change to the passport for years.

Legal affairs minister and deputy prime minister Elvin Nimrod, who is from Carriacou, said other suggestions for reform include the oath taken by government officials when accepting office, from “allegiance to the Queen of England” to “allegiance to Grenada,” changing the title from the “Chief of Police” to “Commissioner of Police” and establishing an “Electoral Commission” instead of having a “Supervisor of Elections.”

Grenadians are expected to vote in a referendum on February 10, 2015, to decide on these changes to the country’s constitution.

Nimrod said at least two-thirds majority of the votes cast in a referendum is required to have authority to change the Constitution, as well as two-thirds majority of the House of Representatives.
 
Reads: 4709





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

grenadianclass:

The government of Trinidad and Tobago isn't interesting in joining the CCJ. Joining the CCJ and Grenada becoming a republic seems to be the primary reason for the constitutional reform in Grenada pushed through by the NNP administration of Keith Mitchell.

While the process seems to be transparent in Trinidad and Tobago , in Grenada it seems to be in the closet. The public is still not aware of the twelve items down for reform.

Former prime minister Tillman Thomas was a strong advocate for term limits but it seems that this is not an agenda item for referendum. This will be very unfortunate and the NDC should stick to principle and not fall victim to a scheme to change the constitution to have leaders for LIFE

I strongly support Kamler on the issue of term limits. She is absolutely right. Most Caribbean leaders prime minister don't mind been septuagenarians and octogenarians to the detriment of the development of their country. These folks are selfish.

Kamler is absolutely right when she said that these long serving leaders stifle democracy. These long serving leaders tends to become dictatorial the longer they remain in office. In most instances their respective countries end up worst than when they first become leader. Just examine the situation in St Kitts / Nevis , Antigua , St Vincent and Grenada where leaders have been in office for more than two terms.

Kenny Anthony probably want to be in office for life that is why he don't necessarily support term limits. He made some right noises recently , but on this one I believe he is wrong.

Term Limits YES !! Dictatorship NO!!


Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code



Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g. att.net, bellsouth.net, sbcglobal.net, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.



Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: