Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 12th 2013 Contents A4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, September 12, 2013
T&T took its first step towards proportional
representation at 3.13 am yesterday with the pas-
sage of such legislation for appointment of alder-
The bill was passed in the Senate early yesterday
despite Opposition from the People s National
Movement (PNM) and a stiff grilling in the last
stage by Independent senators, some of whom
unsuccessfully called for a "sunset" clause within
At least one Independent Senator, Elton Prescott,
said afterwards he had not intended to vote for it,
as did PNM senators, but during the last stage,
Prescott missed his cue to call for a division count
and the bill was passed.
Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith, after
the final process, said the "ayes" had it. It was
passed without amendments.
When Prescott rose to ask if there was to be a
division, Hamel-Smith said "no" and that there
had been no request for a division count.
The bill was passed after just over 14 hours of
debate which started in the Senate Tuesday after-
Following contributions by 18 senators, including
eight of the nine Independents, the committee
stage involved mainly Independents and Govern-
ment, with the PNM adding little.
During committee, several Independents, includ-
ing Prescott, Rolph Balgobin and Helen Drayton,
spoke about a sunset clause to halt the bill and
review it after a certain period.
Drayton said at one point if Government was
not taking amendments, it needed to say so and
she would then know what position to take: Non-
Saying senators found themselves dealing with
the issue "at this midnight hour," Drayton added:
"You are asking us to respect the executive position
but not respect the Parliament but trust works
She expressed concern that the legislation was
faulty and senators were raising issues on which
valid answers were not being given.
Balgobin said the bill was a bold experiment and
he wanted to support it but required some review
process. PNM Senator Faris Al-Rawi said the
process was flawed and the legislation held pit-
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said he could
not give a commitment on a sunset clause uni-
laterally and change government policy on his own.
He said he had never said Government was not
prepared to make amendments to the bill, adding
Government was indeed opening the door to the
possibility of using the system for other elections,
including general polls. See Page A6
Heavy daytime showers yes-
terday caused havoc in St
Augustine, Mt Lambert and
environs as floodwaters rose
to over four feet in height, leav-
ing behind rubbish and other
Tunapuna, St Joseph, Curepe,
San Juan, Pasea Road and Gold-
en Grove Road were affected by
the rain, which lasted over an
Students at the University of
the West Indies, St Augustine,
said they were stranded by
floodwaters. The library was
closed because of flooding and
the electrical problems it caused.
Students at the Arthur Lok
Jack Graduate School of Business
were evacuated after a drain at
the front overflowed.
The Maternity Hospital and
other sections of the Eric
Williams Medical Sciences
Complex were flooded but the
Traffic came to a standstill
along the Eastern Main Road
and the Priority Bus Route.
This came after the Meteor-
ological Office forecast a day of
moderate to heavy showers and
thundershowers which would
affect parts of Trinidad. The
release said showery activity
associated with a tropical wave
would lead to street and flash-
flooding. When a T&T Guardian
team visited Second Avenue, Mt
Lambert, residents were busy
removing debris from their
property and hosing down their
Harold Farrow, 91, said flood-
ing was not new to the area and
he kept sandbags to prevent
water from entering his prem-
ises. Kyle Gooding was busy
washing away mud from his
"Every time it rain it has
floods here," he said.
Aiyegoro Ome, foundation
member of the National Joint
Action Committee, who lives in
the area, said it was a problem
the community had for 60 years.
"We have been complaining
about this issue and it has been
going on for 60 years. The Allen
Peter drain has not been dredged
in the past two years and the
corporation and the Ministry of
Works says it is not their respon-
sibility," he said.
lon said during the wee hours
of the morning she would have
to get up and move her car.
"Now it is debris that coming
into the yard. One year I saw a
mattress and another year the
water was so deep I only saw
the bonnet of the car," she said.
Staff at the Tunapuna/Piarco
Regional Corporation said the
water quickly subsided.
Havoc in East after heavy showers
With both the street and canal filled with water and little to distinguish them by, a woman encourages a friend to walk through on a
street in St Augustine south, which was flooded following heavy rainfall yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Christina Persad Longchallon cleans the front of her home on Second Avenue, Mt Lambert, after flooding in the area yesterday.
PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO
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