PEP: LGE judgement is not enough

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

PEP leader Phillip Edward Alexander. – SUREASH CHOLAI

THE Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP) does not believe that Thursday’s Privy Council’s ruling against the Government’s decision to extend the life of local government corporations for one year will fundamentally strengthen democracy.

In a statement on PEP political leader Phillip Edward Alexander described the judgement as “an unambiguous blow to the government for its interpretation of democracy and the people’s right to vote.”

He said, the judgement “hammered home the necessity for governments elected by democratic means to respect the very democracy that gave them office.”

But Alexander said the judgement does little to actually strengthen democracy.

“This is why the PEP repeats that the only real change we would ever get is when we change the systems that allow for five-year dictatorships.”

Alexander said it was critical for all loopholes in the Constitution to be plugged to safeguard all the rights of citizens.

He said the judgment must send a message to the Government that it did not have the authority, legally or otherwise, to act in the way that it did.

“The only penalty available to us is to remove them electorally at the first chance.”

Alexander urged citizens to “unite and stand ready to send a clear message to all and sundry and vote in defence of their democracy.”