Sunday, February 25, 2018

Ghany: Group against reform

There is a group in this country that does not want to see reform to the Constitution at all, says Dr  Hamid Ghany who was a member of the Constitution Reform Commission (CRC).

UWI Constitutional Affairs and Parliamentary Studies Unit hosted a seminar at the Faculty of Social Sciences where Ghany, Nigel Henry of Solution by Simulation and Dr Bishnu Ragoonath, Head of UWI’s department of Political Science and Olabisi Kuboni, chairperson of the Constitution Reform Forum (CRF) spoke.

Ghany was also part of the round table that held discussions on Constitutional reform under the former Patrick Manning government.

Questioned on the call by various arms of society for more consultations on the controversial run-off provision, Ghany said people do not want to see change.

“This is something that perturbs me deeply about Constitution reform because under the Patrick Manning working document, where there were public consultations in 2009/2010, there was a group that was going around telling us to stop the consultation and today I’m hearing stop the debate. I do not think that either one of those positions is a healthy position,” he added.

“I am in a position to speak and I can tell you there is a group in this country that really doesn’t want Constitution reform,” he said.

Ghany as well as Henry provided statistics to show that the run-off provision would not destroy third parties as some have argued. According to Ghany, the run-off provision was part of the commission’s addendum that every member agreed to.

Ghany said the call for more consultations will have to be decided by the Government as the commission did its job and gave recommendations and advice.

He said the re-call mechanism of the bill needed some sort of protection for the MP in the event that he was elected on a minority basis.