ATTORNEY GENERAL Anand Ramlogan was yesterday unfazed by criticism from the Opposition PNM over the Government’s moves for a virtual pilot project in proportional representation (PR) in the selection of aldermen for the October 21 local government elections. The Opposition has hit the amendments to the Municipal Corporation Act — due for debate in the Lower House on Friday — as a “self-serving” and “hastily cobbled together” vulgarity.
However Ramlogan yesterday told Newsday that the PNM has always been opposed to the idea of proportional representation because under the present (Westminister) system for electing MPs, the constituency boundaries had originally been drawn to favour the PNM in general elections. “Boundaries were drawn to entrench the PNM and guarantee their success,” said Ramlogan.
“Their position has always been one opposed to the concept of proportional representation.” He said the PNM’s rejection of PR has come despite this model having been recommended by several past constitutional reform commissions.
Was October 21 too soon to bring PR?
Ramlogan replied, “There is never a wrong time to do a right thing.” He said this PR reform does not favour any one party but instead will level the playing field, and puts power in the hands of the people. He said if the Government had postponed the local government polls to allow more time to debate the PR reforms, they would have been accused of violating the law.