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Case For Constitutional Reform Part 3
Another cause for concern in recent times is the Office of the President. The process of appointing a President still leaves one in doubt as to whether any/all of his decisions will be biased in favour of the party that elected him into office. There are also other difficulties such as the potential for defeated political candidates being appointed to office.
Mr ANR Robinson, who was the Prime Minister at the time of the 1990 attempted coup, subsequently became a Minister Extraordinaire in 1997 in the Basdeo Panday-led coalition Government. The said Government appointed him President and thereafter he refused the advice of Mr Panday. Robinson refused to act on the Prime Minister’s advice to revoke the appointment of two senators and to appoint two others in their place.
He also refused to appoint seven senators for some 55 days. Such a situation is certainly untenable when one considers that it is the Prime Minister who is accountable to the people. Mr Robinson, who was once subjected to an attempted bloody coup, in an amazing twist of fate, effected what some describe as a presidential “appointment” upon the incumbent Prime Minister Panday in the face of an 18-18 tie at the polls and at which Mr Panday secured more votes overall.