Private Motion – Constitutional Reform

Senate - 1st Session - 8th Republican Parliament

Final Motion approved:

WHEREAS the Report of the Constitution CommissionPDF Icon (‘the Hyatali Commission’) appointed in 1987, under the Commissions of Enquiry Act Chapter 19:01, made recommendations which have never been debated in Parliament or presented officially to the public for consideration and comment; and

WHEREAS there have been no adjustments to the Republican Constitution (1976) at any time in the last twenty-five years in response to changing social and cultural circumstances; and

WHEREAS there have been in the last ten years an increase in the electorate’s “dissatisfaction with the existing political establishment, and confusion and uncertainty about what options for meaningful change are open.” (Wooding Commission Report); and

WHEREAS the historic electoral tie in the General Election of 2001 has had the following effects among others: (a) focusing the public’s attention on the Republican Constitution’s strengths and weaknesses; (b) causing for the first time in the history of the country a significant number of individuals, institutions, and citizen groups acting independently to examine the Constitution and conclude unanimously that there is a crying need for constitution reform; and (c) impelling the political parties to declare during the 2002 General Election Campaign their urgent intention, if elected, to undertake Constitution Reform; and

WHEREAS the now governing People’s National Movement in its Election Manifesto 2002 commits the party to the “widest possible discussion and participation in the process leading up to the Reform of the Constitution for a modern Trinidad and Tobago” and to developing a Constitution “capable of ensuring the involvement of all its citizens in the running of the country” and permitting “equity in the distribution of the resources”;

BE IT RESOLVED Be it resolved that this Senate do support the call for constitutional reform and that the Government do articulate its position on how it intends to commence this process; how it intends to involve the population in the process and what steps it will take to ensure that the exercise is completed within the shortest possible time.

(Sen. Prof. Kenneth Ramchand)

26 Nov 2002
Senate Debate - Day 1Hansard
6 speakersShow Speakers
1.Senator Dr. Kenneth Ramchand [Independent Senator]
2.Senator Robin Montano [Opposition Senator]
3.Senator the Honourable Dr. Lenny Saith [Minister of Public Administration and Information]
4.Senator Dana Seetahal SC [Independent Senator]
5.Senator Derek Outridge [Independent Senator (Temporary)]
6.Senator the Honourable Garvin Nicholas [Opposition Senator (Temporary)]
4 Feb 2003
Senate Debate - Day 2Hansard
3 speakersShow Speakers
2.Senator Dr. Ramesh Deosaran [Independent Senator]
3.Senator Dr. Jennifer Kernahan [Opposition Senator]
25 Feb 2003
Senate Debate - Day 3Hansard
5 speakersShow Speakers
1.Senator Wade Mark [Opposition Senator]
3.Senator Christopher Thomas [Independent Senator]
4.Senator Pundit Maniedeo Persad [Government Senator]
5.Senator Brother Noble Khan [Independent Senator]
25 Mar 2003
Senate Debate - Day 4Hansard
5 speakersShow Speakers
1.The Honourable Mustapha Abdul-Hamid [Minister of Social Development]
2.Senator Sadiq Baksh [Opposition Senator]
3.Senator Dr. Eastlyn McKenzie [Independent Senator]
4.Senator the Honourable Satish Ramroop [Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development and Gender Affairs and in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism]
29 Apr 2003
Senate Debate - Day 5Hansard
3 speakersShow Speakers
1.Senator Arnim Smith [Opposition Senator]
2.Senator the Honourable Knowlson Gift [Minister of Foreign Affairs]
3.Senator the Honourable Danny Montano [Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education]
3 Jun 2003
Senate Debate - Day 6 (Final)Hansard
12 speakersShow Speakers
2.Senator Robin Montano [Opposition Senator]
4.Senator Dana Seetahal SC [Independent Senator]
5.Senator Dr. Jennifer Kernahan [Opposition Senator]
6.Senator Brother Noble Khan [Independent Senator]
7.Senator Dr. Eastlyn McKenzie [Independent Senator]
9.Senator Robin Montano [Opposition Senator]
10.Senator Christopher Thomas [Independent Senator]
12.Senator Dr. Kenneth Ramchand [Independent Senator]