Government has not catered for every mathematical probability with the Constitution reform legislation, former finance minister Brian Kuei Tung has said.
He was speaking to the Express about the legislation and its run-off provision.
The run-off provision has evoked ire from a cross section of citizens and interest groups.
Kuei Tung was attending a meeting to plan the Carib Woodbrook Playboyz Independence Day activities last Friday. Asked to share his sentiments on the run-off clause, Kuei Tung said: “I don’t believe in tinkering. I will give an example. If a man wins 40 per cent of the votes but there are three parties and he did not cross the line with 50 per cent, so he goes to a run-off. He now gets 20 per cent. Another man who came second gets 30 per cent of the votes. Could someone explain to know how a man who got less votes could beat him? A man cannot beat me with fewer votes when I had got more votes on the general election night.”
Kuei Tung added: “They have not catered for every mathematical situation and possibility. I have no problem with the run-off if it can cater for every mathematical possibility. It is flawed mathematics.”
He also said there was the possibility with a run-off that fewer people would come out to vote as a general election would attract a higher turnout.
“A man who has gotten more votes could end up with fewer votes than me and win the run-off. If they can deal with that it will make sense. Without that it does not make sense. With a run-off there is the possibility fewer people would come out to vote.”
Asked about his recommendations for the September 8 national budget, Kuei Tung said he would respect Finance Minister Larry Howai’s presentation and analysis. But he felt there was more work to be done in the area of diversification.
He said: “One of the biggest challenges is diversification. It is not an easy thing to do. It continues to be our elusive challenge. There will always be problems for an agro-economy when you have an oil-based economy. Even an army recognises it needs food not fuel. Without food, an army cannot be successful.”
Asked to share his sentiments on crime, Kuei Tung said: “I don’t know if we will ever solve crime. Can we ever solve domestic violence? Those things make the headlines and really touch our sentiments.”