Duke: Tobago self-government bill ‘sham exercise’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke – File photo by Angelo Marcelle

PROGRESSIVE Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke has described the Constitution (Amendment) (Tobago Self-Government) Bill 2020 as a “sham exercise.”

That bill and the Tobago Island Government Bill 2021 are before a parliamentary joint select committee.

The Prime Minister has promised the two pieces of legislation will be brought back to Parliament this year.

At a news conference on April 24 at the party’s headquarters in Scarborough, Duke wondered why the island’s scholars have not spoken openly about the limitations of the legislation.

“It is a hoax, it is a setup, and I am wondering, where are our scholars? Those who love to talk? I am wondering, where is the academic prowess of Tobagonians? Those who love to have their names written on documents?

“Can’t they see that this Constitutional Amendment Bill does not give Tobago self- government?”

He argued the only route by which Tobago can gain self-government is through self-determination.

“Self-determination equals self-government.”