UNC: Change system for electing President

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

UNC PRO Kirk Meighoo

THE Opposition UNC said it is necessary to change the system whereby a President is elected. It said unless this happens, there should not be any consideration of granting wider powers of investigation to the President and his or her office.

Party PRO Kirk Meighoo gave this comment in response to statements by former president Paula-Mae Weekes in a pre-recorded radio interview broadcast last weekend.

While the UNC has no official position on this particular issue, Meighoo said changing the method of electing a president was key to addressing matters of this nature.

“This is consistent with the party’s position on constitutional matters.”

Meighoo said it is not possible to grant additional investigative powers to the President’s Office under the current arrangement for electing a president.

That process involves the Electoral College, which comprises all members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, voting on presidential nominees.

Under this arrangement, the government holds the majority vote.

Meighoo said, “The President is not chosen independently, but with a ruling-party majority.”

He claimed this a power the PNM would abuse.

Meighoo said the entire system of electing a president would have to change first, but when that happens, the Opposition might be williing to consider granting more investigative powers to the President’s Office.