Sunday, February 18, 2018



Mark Fraser

The  Senate yesterday passed the Constitution Amendment Bill with several amendments.

On the run-off proposal, the original proposal had required a second poll between the winner and the runner-up (the top two candidates), in instances where the winner secured less than 50 per cent of the votes in the first poll. 

The Senate accepted an amendment from Senator Dhanayshar Mahabir to have the run-off round include a third candidate where that candidate secures 25 per cent of the vote or where the third candidate obtains vote amounting to 5 per cent less than the second runner-up.

It means that a candidate must win by over 50 per cent of the vote in a first poll,to be declared the winner. But, if there has to be a second poll in which there are three candidates, the winner can receive less than 50 per cent of the votes cast in the run off poll.

 The Senate conceded that the new amendment would result this country’s electoral system being a hybrid system which mixes the majority system, which the run off system was originally meant to achieve, with a plural system

On the recall provision, the Senate accepted an amendment from Senator David Small to raise the threshold from 10 per cent to 20 percent for a recall application to be approved by the Elections and Boundaries Commission. 2/3 of the constituents must support the recall petition before an MP can be recalled.