Trinidad and Tobago Celebrates 52nd Independence Anniversary with Constitutional Reform

Kamla-Persad-Bissessar-12Trinidad and Tobago will celebrate its 52nd political independence from Great Britain on Sunday, August 31, 2014.

This year will be a historic one for the country as Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is moving to implement constitutional reform for what she said is the People’s Partnership (PP) administration policy agenda for development and progress.

The Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 proposes a term limit for the office of the prime minister, a recall provision and a runoff poll in elections for the House of Representatives.

The prime minister is proposing the second ballot runoff voting to change the way MPs are elected to strengthen the democracy in a way that makes the power of the people supreme.

The runoff poll is proposed so that each member of the House of Representatives will only become such a member if he or she obtains more than 50 percent of the votes cast in a constituency.

This means that where one of the candidates did not obtain more than 50 percent during the first poll at an election, a second poll will be held between the top two candidates within 15 days.

The prime minister said in such a system, the voices of the minority would be respected even as effect is given to the will of the majority and every single vote would matter and count as the possibility of voting a second time will breathe new life and meaning in the democratic process. [. . .]

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