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T&T: Privy Council rules on postponement of local government elections

The UK-based Privy Council has ruled that citizens of Trinidad and Tobago have the right to vote.
 
The judgment was delivered Thursday morning against the government's decision to postpone the local government elections and extend the life of councils for one year.
 
Former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan secured victory at the Privy Council on behalf of his client, political activist Ravi Balgobin-Maharaj, after being defeated in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
 
Balgobin-Maharaj had complained about the passage of amendments in 2022 which extended the term of local government councillors to four years and also allowed the election to be delayed by a year.
 
In a majority decision, three law lords led by UK Supreme Court President Lord Robert Reed ruled that the High Court and the Court of Appeal got it wrong when they dismissed Balgobin-Maharaj's case.
 
Two of the judges agreed with the local courts and provided a dissenting judgment.
 
Those in the majority ruled that the change in the terms of the Local Government representatives as contained in the Miscellaneous Provisions (Local Government Reform) Act, passed by Parliament without the support of the Opposition last year, could not apply to representatives elected in 2019.
 
They said the Parliament should have used clear and unambiguous language to indicate this, but it did not.
 
The case was heard on March 15.


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