week, I began demonstrating the ease with which a dictator could emerge in
Trinidad and Tobago under the guise of “Executive President” should
the Sir Ellis Draft Constitution slip through. Sir Ellis has clearly
stated that his is a draft open to comment and change.
fear is that we are not paying it any attention. The Sir Ellis Draft is
meant to be buzzing around bus stops and market places, in homes and
offices, on the streets and in the cocktail circuits.
the Draft remains ghostlike, mostly invisible; circling us like an ill
omen as we spin around a people in fear of crime, fear of devaluation,
inflation, overspending, controlled by the underworld.
this distracting haze of fear, a dictator could emerge. Here’s how.
a political leader wins control of the Tobago House of Assembly, and
regional corporations, and wins the general election with a 70 per cent
majority he can do the following.
Electoral College (the House of Representatives, where his party holds a
majority) elects D (dictator) as Executive President and another party
member as Vice President.
Draft Constitution states that when the Executive President is elected
from the House his seat becomes vacant so a by-election needs to be held
immediately. D’s party wins the seat and retains the size of its
majority in the House of Representatives.
new Executive President combines the power of the existing posts of
President with that of a Prime Minister. He is:
Control the free speech in the following areas:
media is muzzled. All broadcasting or published information is licensed
on territorial integrity (eg no more talk of Tobago’s independence);
of information received in confidence (no leaks of controversial
documents, no whistle blowing on wrongdoing);
(So wide that it can define anything);
reputation of others (eg can not say anything imputing inefficiency or
wrong doing by the President)
Executive President now has almost absolute power:
of he powers of the President have carried over from that of the 1976
constitution, however, these powers were never meant to be given to a