Sunday, December 16, 2012

Constitution Reform consultations begin January 18

The Ministry of Legal Affairs will officially launch its constitutional reform exercise on January 18, 2013 at The University of the West Indies in St Augustine. The first public consultation is scheduled for January 25.

This would allow citizens to make submissions on the Constitution, including term limits for a prime minister, recall of representatives, fixed dates for elections and funding for political parties

Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar has promised to hand in a report within a few months. He told the Express newspaper, "I have made a public commitment that by May 2013, I will have a draft document in hand, and I am working towards meeting that deadline."

He added that the committee has the "full authority of the Cabinet". He expects to hold 17 public consultations, including three in Tobago.
A committee chaired by Dr Hamid Ghany has handed in a report to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan on self government for Tobago. That committee included attorneys-at-law Christlyn Moore and Martin George. Moore is currently the Justice Minister. However she was not in the cabinet when the committee met.

The People's Partnership campaigned on Constitutional reform in the May 2010 general election. Its manifesto stated: "As a matter of urgency, our Government will engage the population in consultations for constitutional reform. We will observe the bedrock principle that the Constitution should emerge out of the collective aspirations, will and judgment of the people of Trinidad and Tobago."

It further stated that the Government will table amendments in Parliament in relation to: 
  • checks and balances to safeguard against the abuse of power
  • respect for the voice of minorities while acknowledging the will of the majority
  • a free press unfettered by Government intimidation and uncompromised by Government preference
  • access to official information
  • integrity in public life
  • containment and eradication of corruption
  • the introduction of procurement legislation which is fair, efficient and transparent
  • mandatory provisions for making Local Government an integral part of the governance process
  • a right of recall for non-performing parliamentary representatives
  • fixed elections date for national and local elections; mechanisms for a referendum process
  • limiting the Prime Minister to two successive terms as head of Government
  • rules governing the conflict of the Government and political parties during an election period

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai