Last update: 09-Dec-2013 5:56 pm
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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NACTA: Approval for PM’s polls decision
The findings of an opinion survey by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) over the last couple of weeks show overwhelming approval for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s decision to hold local government elections within the constitutionally mandated time. There is also overwhelming support for local government reform to empower the bodies to control their own affairs rather than being subjected to the dictates of the central government.
However, only a simple majority endorses electoral reform by way of the introduction of proportional representation to allocate and choose aldermen, with many people saying they do not understand the concept and there is need for more explanation on how the system will work. The poll finds government ministers Roodal Moonilal, Vasanth Bharath, Errol McLeod, Fazal Karim, Glenn Ramadharsingh, Lincoln Douglas, Rudy Indarsingh, Suruj Rambachan, Fuad Khan, Clifton De Coteau and Tim Gopeesingh among the top-rated ministers.
Asked if they approved of the PM’s decision to hold local elections when they are constitutionally due, a whopping 90 per cent said yes. Asked if they support the PM’s decision to introduce proportional representation (PR) in the allotment of aldermen to political parties, 54 per cent said yes, with 26 per cent saying not sure and 20 per cent saying no.
Asked if they are in favour of more local government reforms, rather than electoral reform alone, 92 per cent answered affirmatively, saying powers should be decentralised to the local entities to give them autonomy, especially over control of funding. Voters complain they hardly see their councillors after an election and almost everyone feels a recall system is needed to hold them accountable and to obtain better service.
Asked who they rate as best performing minister, Moonilal leads with 19 per cent, followed by Bharath 17 per cent, Ramadharsingh 16 per cent, Karim ten per cent and Indarsingh seven per cent. Khan, McLeod, Gopeesingh, Rambachan, Douglas, Maharaj and De Coteau followed closely behind. The poll also queried voters on how they planned to vote. Those findings will be released in a subsequent report.
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