PM: ‘I believe in term limits’

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By Carl Joseph

“My comrades don’t like when I say this but I believe in term limits,” announced Prime Minister Browne last Saturday.

Prime Minister Browne opined that serious discussions may need to start centering around implementing a two or three term limit for the office of the highest elected official in the country.

“Unfortunately,” he added, “we’re not getting the level of maturity within the Caribbean that we can have that discussion in a serious way.”

“Grenada,” Browne sited, “placed the issue on a referendum to have term limits and [Grenadian electorate] voted against it.”

Browne’s rationale for the term limit imposition was that, “after a while people become so frustrated, when you’re in office for too long then they start to do things to literally hurt the country in order to get rid of the incumbent.”

He went on to say that he may even consider using his influence in the [Antigua and Barbuda] Labour Party to get them to agree to having a term limit for the leader of the party, who could ultimately emerge as prime minister.”

The prime minister was sure to add a ‘comeback’ clause to his suggestion, however: “You can allow for a comeback. Two terms, three terms… if you’re that good, in the future, the people will come back for you.”

“And if you’re not good,” he added, “they will condemn you to the dustbin of history.”

Browne’s predecessor, former Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, had shot down the idea of term limits. Speaking as prime minister back in 2011, Spencer suggested that before giving consideration to term limits, the structures of Antigua and Barbuda’s Constitution and political system must first be revised.

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