Citizens also want the right to fire MPs
"As a matter of urgency, our Government will engage the population in consultations for constitutional reform"—Page 15, Prosperity For All (People's Partnership) Manifesto 2010. The most critical aspect of constitutional reform is engagement and consultation with the people, for everything that transpires from that document directly affects all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
A period of about two years and four months has elapsed, with no engagement with the population of any consultation for constitutional reform. We wait with bated breath and much anticipation for constitutional reform.
While there are many considerations which have to be taken into account that may hamper the process, it should be done within a practical time frame to prevent stagnation of the process. Moreover, the drafting of the provisions should be done with surgical precision, as it will become the supreme law of the land which may also slow the process.
I implore the Minister of Legal Affairs, chairman of the Cabinet subcommittee in charge of constitutional reform, that taking into account the surrounding circumstances it should be done with some expediency as the next general election is pacing closer. This mammoth task has to, and should, be done with maximum citizen participation; we cannot risk another government being formed and discarding the agenda of the people by not granting us the right of recall, fixed election dates and limiting the term of the prime minister.
Among the many promises of constitutional reform made by the People's Partnership Government in 2010 was the right of recall for non-performing parliamentary representatives. The Prime Minister, in her stint as the Head of Government, has exercised her power of recall frequently in advising the President to revoke the appointment of several members of her Cabinet for some anomaly or the other, while holding public office.
While the Prime Minister has exercised her right of recall and has fired members of her Cabinet, it is only fair and just the same right be bestowed upon the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. For we the people are the government; our republican constitution grants us equality before the law. Give us our power to fire, for we are the employers of our members of Parliament.
We have seen "fired Kamla-style"; time for "fired people-style".