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Ramadhar: Constitutional reform plaguing T&T for years
Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar says the issue of constitutional reform has plagued T&T for many years. He said the People’s Partnership Government came in on the promise listed in its manifesto of constitutional reform, proportional representation and a referendum. He said the Government intended to fulfill that promise.
Ramadhar spoke at the third public consultation on constitutional reform at the Arima Town Hall, Sorzano Street, yesterday. He said, “For all the years that have gone we have complained bitterly about how politics in this country operate, where democracy is exercised only on election day.” Ramadhar said he believed that democracy should be exercised during the term of a government.
“In the new Constitution that we wish to have and when I say we, I speak as a citizen and not as a minister, we believe that the people of Trinidad and Tobago should say what kind of constitution they want. “That is why we did not prepare a draft constitution and put it out for comment and consultation.” He said the constitution was really a contract between the people and those that were given the authority to govern.
“So it is a two-way street,” Ramadhar said. “I believe if you put a draft outside you pigeonhole the discussion into those areas.” The Arima Town Hall was packed for the consultation and many of the issues raised dealt with protection of children and women, rights of recall of MPs, election of a Head of State by the people and not an electoral college, and also stricter campaign financing laws.
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