|"For the first time you are seeing now the voices of minorities would be represented on corporations because of the legislation we have passed relating to appointment of aldermen,” PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar|
But that is not how Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar sees it. Her point was always that it was a more democratic system that would allow greater people control by allowing every vote to count. On Friday, she told reporters the system has worked wonderfully
"I am very happy with the entire process, the entire exercise that took place, an exercise in democracy. For the first time you are seeing now the voices of minorities would be represented on corporations because of the legislation we have passed relating to appointment of aldermen,” Persad-Bissessar told journalists covering the launch of the Highway Patrol.
"It has worked exactly as we envisaged it would work. It ensures that those who acquire 25 per cent of the popular vote that you would be entitled to a voice in the institution. It is a very, very democratic way of representation rather than you may get less votes in the entire regional corporation but you win by the majority and the minority voice is left out,” Persad-Bissessar said.
She disagreed with the view that it backfired.
“No, it did not backfire. We envisaged this could happen. In fact, in the debate we did show how it could happen in areas where the PNM (People’s National Movement) for example would never have gotten an alderman would now be getting one and areas where the UNC (United National Congress) would never have gotten one, would now get one,” she said.
“So it has not backfired. It has worked wonderfully well. There may be teething problems in that it is taking a little longer to compile and collate but then it is the first time. I have not seen anything in it that is negative or contrary to a true democratic process,” Persad-Bissessar added.