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Ramadhar: Govt serious this time
Dismissing six previous attempts at constitutional reform by different administrations, Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar said this time the Government was “really serious” in its endeavour. Ramadhar made the disclosure Monday at the start of the first of 17 national consultations on constitutional reform which will be held throughout T&T.
Seated at the head table at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, with commissioners—Dr Hamid Ghany, Justice Sebastian Ventour, Dr Merle Hodge, Justice Amrika Tiwary-Reddy and Carlos Dillion—from the tourism sector, he addressed a full hall of people, many from the St Augustine and Tunapuna areas, who went to air their views on constitutional reform. The minister described this attempt at constitutional reform as “historic.”
“This is historic. The People’s Partnership came in on several promises, one of them being constitutional reform. No previous attempt to reform the constitution has really been serious,” he added. Ramadhar said that was an attempt to create new rules and structures in the Constitution and the supreme law of the land must come from the people.
“I believe the supreme law of the land must come from the people. We are not here to make speeches but to listen. Feel free to speak your mind, with respect. Consider us friends,” he added. The minister said in addition to the 17 consultations, the views of interest groups, political parties and non-governmental organisations was also being sought. Comedian Errol Fabien, chairman of the process, said views also could be forwarded online.
He said he was “extremely happy” about the outcome of the first consultation. He added: “There were wide ranging contributions from the floor. Citizens have been complaining about how the country is run. “Unless you change the rules, the game will be played the same way. This is a good opportunity to change the rules.”
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