CONSTITUTION reforms presented to the Parliament on Monday by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar geared to increase the power of people over politicians have “put the Opposition Leader, Dr Keith Rowley on the run” and “is the most compelling evidence yet that he has absolutely no ideas or vision for Trinidad & Tobago”. This according to Public Relations Officer of the United National Congress, Rodney Charles.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Charles, who is also a former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, took Dr Rowley to task for his inability to respond to measures by the Prime Minister to strengthen democracy, and place the power of politicians into the hands of people.
“Rowley’s inability to respond is no surprise to anyone. This time, he realised that he could not say no to the reforms, because of the comprehensive, nation-wide consultation process that brought these proposals to the fore. He knows that people want the reforms because it will give them greater power over governance.”
“It is now common knowledge that Rowley is sorely lacking in vision and ideas, but what makes the PNM’s position more untenable is that he now want to use a technicality to save himself from a debate. To make matters worse, he is demanding vacation leave instead of showing an interest in the people’s business.” Charles said.
Following Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar’s presentation of constitutional reforms that will see term limits for the Prime Minister, run-off voting, right to recall and fixed election dates, the PNM’s first response was to allege a breach of new standing order rules of Parliament, and use that argument to halt debate on the measures.
But Charles described this as “typical Rowley behaviour, majoring in minors”.
Charles said: “Rowley and his party know very well that the measures brought by the Prime Minister will strengthen democracy and vest powers in the people more than at any other time in history. So why is he trying to duck a debate? From what is he running?”
“What is it about term limits making succession planning easier, or recall giving people more influence over the performance of their MP, or fixed dates that will create greater stability, and run off voting that will ensure every single vote counts, that has put Rowley on the run?” Charles asked.