Parliament gets EBC report on boundary changes

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Elections and Boundaries Commission head office, on Frederick Street, Port of Spain. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

THE GOVERNMENT will lay the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) report on the review of constituency boundaries in Parliament on April 8.

The date was set on an order paper that was issued on Friday evening.

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar issued a statement on Saturday claiming the decision to lay the report came after government “capitulated to UNC’s demands.”

Citing a letter from the EBC, Persad-Bissessar claimed the Prime Minister had had the report for over a month but chose not to deal with it, and only did so after legal threats and a formal query from the UNC to the EBC.

Persad-Bissessar said there must be a debate on the report for “thorough, transparent scrutiny” to avoid allegations of collusion with the EBC to shift electoral boundaries.

She said the UNC has “steadfastly been fighting the Government’s unconstitutional refusal to bring the EBC 2024 report for parliamentary scrutiny and debate on behalf of the citizens of TT, as it affects our very political stability and democratic foundation.”

She cited several instances of the Opposition’s concerns being raised in the Parliament, as well as with EBC’s CEO Fern Narcis-Scope and commissioners.

In the release, Persad-Bissessar said she wrote to the EBC on April 1, seeking to clarify whether the commission had submitted the report to the government.

She said the UNC received a response the next day that the EBC’s report had been submitted to the Prime Minister and Speaker on March 13.