RISE plugs con­stituency vot­ing at con­sti­tu­tion re­form forum

Stabroek News Sunday - - LEGAL NOTICES -

Newly-formed civil so­ci­ety group RISE Guyana and other speak­ers at a Univer­sity of Guyana forum on Thurs­day called for a re­turn to con­stituency vot­ing at gen­eral elec­tions and there were also ap­peals for broad con­sul­ta­tions on the re­form of the con­sti­tu­tion. Rep­re­sented by busi­ness­man Ter­rence Camp­bell, Re­form, In­spire, Sus­tain and Ed­u­cate (RISE) ar­gued that while the 1999 Con­sti­tu­tion Re­form Com­mis­sion ac­com­plished much, it “erred when it rec­om­mended that the elec­toral sys­tem should re­main that of pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion.” Some con­stituency vot­ing was in­tro­duced for the lo­cal govern­ment sys­tem used for elec­tions held last year. Camp­bell told the gather­ing at the Ninth Turkeyen and Tain Talks at the Pe­ga­sus Ho­tel that RISE has had dis­cus­sions with the man-in-the-street, mem­bers of the govern­ment, the opposition and Guyanese in the Di­as­pora which “re­vealed an over­whelm­ing pref­er­ence for a re­turn to a con­stituency-based sys­tem.” Ac­cord­ing to Camp­bell, such a sys­tem would im­prove ac­count­abil­ity and in­de­pen­dence since Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment will need to fo­cus first on rep­re­sent­ing their con­stituents rather than serv­ing a political party and party leader. Cit­ing an­other rec­om­men­da­tion from the 1999 Com­mis­sion, Camp­bell asked why the in­volve­ment of in­di­vid­u­als was pro­posed at the lo­cal but not at the na­tional level.

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