Friday, February 23, 2018

CRC member: Don’t rush reform debate

 Another member of the Constitution Reform Commission (CRC) has called for the debate on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill to be deferred.

Carlos Dillon, a businessman, stated yesterday that as a consequence of the furore surrounding the bill, “I suggest that good sense should prevail and that the timing of debate on such a most important matter be looked at again.”

Dillon stated that as a member of the commission whose remit was to “co-ordinate the consultation sessions” throughout the country and to submit a report, “I take responsibility for the report that was subsequently put out for public comment.”

He indicated that there were three main concerns of the citizenry during the period of consultations:

1. The right of recall of a member of Parliament, 2. the methodology to be used for putting proportional representation into effect and 3. the timing of bringing the bill to Parliament.

“The right of recall of a member of Parliament and the question of Proportional Representation were indeed raised by the public during the consultations and are reflected in the report. However, the methods of putting 1 and 2 above into effect were not part of the public discussion, for acceptance/rejection,” stated Dillon.

The timing of bringing the Bill to Parliament, he stated, was not the function of the commission.

Commission member Dr Merle Hodge was the first to raise concerns about the bill on Thursday, stating that while the right of recall was there from the beginning of the consultations, the run-off proposal was not and was neither featured in the People’s Partnership manifesto, the consultations nor the CRC’s report.