Sunday, December 17, 2017

Stunned by hasty bid to change Constitution


Prime minister: Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Mark Fraser

 I am stunned at the absurd idea promulgated by the Prime Minister that making major amendments to the Constitution is of such a hasty and urgent matter, as she proposed last Monday in Parliament with the Constitution Amendment Bill, that she forewarned neither the public nor the opposition party. 

A Government desirous of the approval of the populace in order to be returned to office in the next election would ensure full discussion on the proposed amendments to our Constitution was aired in the public domain weeks, if not months in advance, so as to engage all interested parties, allowing them/us the time to bone up on their research, listen to expert opinions on the unfamiliar territory being explored and the impact the changes would have on the populace to enable citizens to fully grasp the full implications of the changes.

In lieu of that, the populace, including the Opposition PNM, are notified that debate will begin in six days time on a subject of such magnitude. That is woefully insufficient. And they table this at the height of the mid-year holidays, so reminiscent of Section 34, proclaimed in August 2012. 

No country’s democracy could ever be strengthened when the population’s voice is neither heard nor heeded and deliberately stifled!

Utilising the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago in such a sweeping, don’t-give-a-damn-about-you manner underlines the People’s Partnership Government’s contempt for the citizens of this country.

This is another example of poor governance and putting yourselves first! 

Catherine Hidalgo

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