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New laws limit PMs to two terms

Published:Wednesday | August 13, 2014 | 12:00 AM

PORT-OF-SPAIN (CMC):

The Trinidad and Tobago parliament early yesterday 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 cast.

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.