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Case For Constitutional Reform Part 4

Office of President should be eliminated
Thursday, April 17, 2014

In Part 3, of our series of articles on case for Constitutional reform, published last week, we highlighted the role of President ANR Robinson in the 18-18 tied general election. And we questioned his decision to bypass the incumbent Prime Minister, Basdeo Panday and appoint PNM Patrick Manning as Prime Minister of T&T. This, despite the fact that Panday’s UNC party collected more votes in the elections than Mr Manning’s People’s National Movement (PNM).


Former President Arthur Raymond Robinson passed away last week, and in our series we will continue to make a case for a new Constitution that will eliminate the office of the President of the Republic. The existing Constitution has not worked satisfactorily. History has shown that under the PNM, there were significant clashes between the government and the Judiciary, the DPP, the Public Service and many other institutions established under the Constitution.


There must be reform of our Constitution to prevent future abuse by any government and such reform must reflect our changing social, political, economic, regional and international circumstances. As we proceed to treat with the Report of December 27, 2013 we wish to indicate at the outset that there is not the space in these articles to go into the proposals in detail and so we simply note a number of general points.