Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let the people decide!

Let the people decide! There is already a shortage of quality leadership! Why impose artificial limits?

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves feels restrictions on the terms of office of Caribbean heads of government deprive the people of quality leaders who are scarce in the region.

Speaking to members of the media while in Guyana in July of this year, he stated: …….. Let the people decide! There is already a shortage of quality leadership. Why impose artificial limits, he said during last week’s Caribbean Community summit here. We don’t have to imitate everything the Americans do, Gonsalves argued.”

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, there is no limit on the term of office of the Prime Minister.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won a referendum in February this year with a majority 54% of the vote that allowed him to run for the presidency for life.

Gonsalves said the shortage of quality leadership in the Caribbean and the restriction on the period for incumbent Presidents or Prime Ministers may pose difficulties for several countries.

Remember those famous words of President Ronald Reagan who said that the term limit on presidents was "a mistake". He went on to ask, "Shouldn't the people have the right to vote for someone as many times as they want to vote for him?"

Further, while term limits are matters for individual electorates and the abolition of term limits in Venezuela was supported by its electorate we here in Guyana need the opportunity to decide by way of referendum whether or not Jagdeo should get a well deserved third term.

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