Deep concerns about proposed T&T electoral reforms—Dookeran

(Trinidad Guardian) Congress of the People founder Winston Dookeran says some deep concerns have been expressed about the Government’s proposed runoff system, which some commentators claim will eliminate the chances of smaller third parties. “In view of the deep concerns expressed, I’m researching the situation a little more,“ Dookeran added on Wednesday when asked his view of the proposal.

The runoff is part of a three-pronged constitutional reform package which Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced on Monday and which will be debated next Monday in Parliament. The most controversial aspect is the runoff poll. This is being proposed wherever there is a general election or by-election and the results do not provide a winner with at least 50 per cent of the votes cast. Dookeran said he would be speaking in Monday’s debate on the bill.

Arima MP Rodger Samuel said he hadn’t paid much attention to a lot of what was being said about the bill in the public domain. “I’m making my own  assessments,” Samuel added. COP chairman Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan said via her assistant on Tuesday that she had no comment. COP leader Prakash Ramadhar, chairman of Government’s Constitutional Reform Commission, was unavailable to answer queries. He is expected to be among frontline government speakers next week.

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