Justice Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore, has expressed his belief that there should be no limit on the amount of time persons be allowed to spend as elected representatives in parliament.
Speaking on DBS’s ‘Talking Point’, on Monday morning, Blackmoore stated that voters should be allowed to elect persons for as long as they feel that those elected meet their expectations.
“People have a right to decide who they want to represent them. And, as long as the person who is running for re-election has performed, and has been able to meet their expectations, and has been able to serve his constituency well, I think it is an added plus to the whole democratic process…,” he said.
He added, “I think that you should never deprive people of the right to vote for a candidate of their choice.”
Similarly, Blackmoore noted that while the idea of a term limit on an individual in the office of Prime Minister is a “useful argument,” the idea must be revised for smaller societies with “less talent, [and] less diversity.”
The remark was made in response to a recent statement by the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Timothy Harris, in which Harris promoted the island’s recent legislation to impose two term limits on anyone holding the position of Prime Minister, as a model for other Caribbean countries.
The Dominica Labour Party has won four consecutive general elections over the last fifteen years and has been under the leadership of Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit for the last twelve consecutive years.
According to an article published on Caribbean360.com, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Team Unity administration recently put forward a bill proposing two five-year terms as the maximum time one can serve in the position of a Prime Minister.
Under the Tenure of Office of Prime Minister Bill, 2015 “A person who is appointed Prime Minister under the Constitution shall, subject to subsection (2) of this section, hold office for a term of five years”; and “A person shall not be appointed to hold office as Prime Minister for more than two terms as prescribed by this section.”
Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Timothy Harris, said the decision is an important disciplining mechanism, which is vital to succession planning.