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We can’t stop reform train now—Prakash

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

There is a serious effort by the People’s National Movement (PNM) to demonise the first effort at constitutional reform but it has taken root and nobody can stop it, says Congress of the People (COP) leader Prakash Ramadhar.

“Stop the debate? No! When you truly analyse it, there is nothing wrong with it,” Ramadhar said during his contribution to the debate yesterday on the controversial Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 in the Lower House.

After extensive deliberations with COP national council members on Sunday, Ramadhar had announced that the party had moved a motion to delay voting on the bill until wider consultation was done.

Yesterday he lambasted the Opposition for creating fear among supporters and inciting mob rule.

“They believe in leading by fright rather than by light. Their first attack is so forceful. The whole purpose of the attack is to ensure the train doesn’t get out of the station,” Ramadhar said.

Leadership must never be won by fear, he said. 

“The only thing you have to fear is fear itself and fearmongers. This makes us subject to mob rule.

“You are calling for an election? You will have no election but you will not have a government terrorised by your propaganda.

“They are pelting mud in all directions hoping some will stick. Some did stick,” he added.

Ramadhar said fixed term limits for prime ministers gave them a chance to leave a good legacy. The right to recall an MP, he said, also gave the population authority between election dates. The runoff ballot, he added, was a very poor but necessary substitute for proportional representation.