FORMER prime minister Basdeo Panday has called for the Constitution to allow for members of the public to be able to sue the government when they fail on the promises made in their manifesto.
Panday made the point while speaking at the National Consultation on Constitutional Reform on Saturday.
He said, "The Constitution should provide that the manifesto should be a legally enforceable document by the people against the government. That is to say, the manifesto should constitute an enforceable contract between the people and the government so the people can sue the government for failing to carry out its manifesto promises."
Panday was one of several who aired their views on the issue of constitutional reform at Centre Pointe Mall, Chaguanas.
He also said, "I believe that the President should be elected by the electorate on the basis of one man, one vote and that the President, having been elected, should have the right to chose his Cabinet from the most competent persons in the country ... The President having chosen his Cabinet, he is now both head of State and head of government and he and his advisers will prepare a budget for the ensuing year, but in order to get money for the implementation of that budget, he must go to Parliament."
Others who spoke at the consultation said that the language of the Constitution should be in a simpler form and written "by the people on the ground".
It was also suggested that corporal punishment be reintroduced in schools, there be a greater level of law enforcement in the land and God should be removed from the Constitution as it should be a secular document.
The consultations are being hosted by the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the next session is scheduled to take place at Port of Spain City Hall on Saturday.
Panday told the Express that he has lots more to say and he hopes to attend other meetings to expand on his contributions.