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12 out of 25 bills passed

CLINT CHAN TACK Monday, July 17 2017

OF the 25 pieces of legislation debated in the 2nd Session of the 11 Parliament, the current parliamentary session, Government has been successful in passing 12 of them. This is according to information contained on the Parliament’s website. Among the bills passed are the Marriage Bill 2016 (which sets the legal age for marriage across the board at 18 years); Public Procurement and Disposal of Property (Amendment) Bill 2016; Tax Information Exchange Agreements (United States of America) Bill 2016 (which is neccessary to ensure TT is FATCA compliant), Bail Amendment Bill 2017 and the Tobago House of Assembly Election Validation Bill 2017.

Among the bills still before the Parliament are the Cybercrime Bill 2017, Anti-Terrorism Amendment Bill 2017 and the Registration of Titles to Land Amendment Bill 2017. The Parliament is on recess but could be reconvened following tomorrow’s talks between Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar at 2 pm at Tower D of the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Centre.

On the agenda for discussion are Internal Self Government for Tobago; Campaign Finance Reform; Anti-Gang Legislation; Difficulty within the Judiciary---JLSC Matter; Integrity Commission; Service Commissions effectiveness and Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament. A statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister on July 15 said the meeting is an effort to obtain parliamentary collaboration as a way forward that the meeting is being held. In this regard, jobs and the economy do not fall into the category of items to be discussed. However, some discussion on crime could be entertained under the agenda item of anti-gang legislation. Rowley has hinted at the possibility of Parliament being reconvened to deal with legislative matters where a special majority is required.

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