ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Senator Joanne Massiah, the junior minister for legal affairs, wants term limits placed on the tenure of persons appointed to head regional agencies such as the OECS Secretariat.
Massiah, who’s also public relations officer of the governing United Progressive Party (UPP), made the call yesterday in the Senate during debate on a Bill to give effect to the Revised Treaty of Basseterre establishing the OECS Economic Union.
“There has been a lot of talk for many, many years about implementing term limits for politicians,” she began, noting that the treaty provides for the OECS director general to be appointed for renewable four-year terms.
“So a person conceivably could get this job and die in the job; and I think . . . we have to have succession planning, not only for governments and political parties, but for our regional institutions.”
Massiah said her suggestion was based on the need “to infuse these organisations with fresh ideas and new concepts. So I believe that some mention should be made to a break. Even if you are eligible for reappointment 10 years after you vacate the post or whatever, I believe if we are seeking to do it for parliamentarians, it should be reflected in our other community organisations, and the organs of these organisations.”
Senator Massiah was supported on this point by Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Dr Errol Cort.
“I think when you look at these organisations, really and truly, you should have some sort of limitation. It’s good to bring in fresh blood, new ideas, persons who are coming in from a different era, a different generation, who may be bringing a different perspective to problems that may have existed for years, and you need a fresh look a how you deal with those issues,” Dr Cort said.