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Kamla: Be not afraid of reform

Friday, August 8, 2014

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has reassured the nation that there is nothing to fear about the proposed electoral reform which she proposed in the Parliament last Monday. In her first public statement since the public raised concerns about the proposal and in particular the runoff poll, Persad-Bissessar said her Government had taken its times in ensuring the legislation was well thought out.

"You have nothing to fear. This did not come like a thief in the night," Persad-Bissessar said during her Eid-ul-Fitr function at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's. She said what she announced in Parliament, the two-year term limits for PMs, right for recall for MPs and runoff second ballot, came after much the work the Constitution Commission did during its consultations with the public. That commission was chaired by Minister of Legal Affairs, Prakash Ramadhar.

The PM said an initial report was prepared and brought to Government on December 2013, but Persad-Bissessar said Ramadhar asked for more time for further consultations and time to get feedback for proposals. The final report, she added, was submitted in April this year and then submitted to Cabinet in July ,where the recommendations were considered. "Be not afraid. This will place more power in your hands. You have nothing to fear."