The Women’s Arm of the United National Congress (UNC) hails Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar for bringing Forward Thinking Legislation in the form of the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2014.
We are of the view that the Prime Minister must be commended for not only delivering on her manifesto promise of Constitutional Reform, but also for taking the bold and courageous step in being the first Prime Minister that has had the political will to bring reform of the Constitution to the Parliament, that will give more power to the people. As women we are indeed proud of this giant leap taken by a female leader.
We also note with great interest that the majority of the population supports the amendment as shown in the recent MORI poll, and therefore we are of the firm view that the debate should continue in the Senate, and not be delayed, as some with their own political agenda may believe. In fact, we commend the Prime Minister for not only consulting on this bill, but for allowing more time since its passage in the lower house. We look forward to the debate in the Senate, and given the majority support of the population for the bill, we believe that a vote against this bill is a vote against the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
We view the Constitution Amendment Bill as necessary in ensuring the freedom and democracy of our country, and we believe that term limits for Prime Ministers, Right of Recall of a Member of Parliament, and ensuring that MPs are elected by majority vote will strengthen our democracy by giving more political power to the people, and less to the politicians.
Consultation on Constitution Reform has been ongoing for decades and decades, how much longer will we delay? Let us as women unite in the fight for freedom and democracy and let us lend our support to this bill which will enhance our democracy and provide a framework which will not only benefit us, but our children and grandchildren.
Stacy Roopnarine, MP
Chairman UNC Women’s Arm