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Welch’s seat-by-votes proposal

JOHN SEALY, [email protected]

Welch’s seat-by-votes proposal

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Professor Emeritus Pedro Welch has repeated his call for a constitutional amendment to ensure that a party that gets a reasonable proportion of votes be guaranteed a seat in the House of Assembly.

He was speaking during the lecture topic Sir James Cameron Tudor: The Making of a Power-broker extraordinaire at the James Tudor Institute of Politics- sponsored event at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management, University of the West Indies, on Thursday night.

Welch said he previously mooted the suggestion “when it came to the question of constitutional amendments … which pointed out that in this country we had come close to a situation like what happened last year on more than one occasion”.

He recalled that “the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was reduced to three [seats] and the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) reduced to two. And I made the point that if in any of those cases, if there was no agreement between the three or two (seat holders), you would have had a constitutional crisis. I recommended that one should consider at some time constitutional amendments that would deal with this problem because it is not only happening in Barbados, but in other parts of the Caribbean.

“My suggestion is in the future, some consideration be placed on introducing a constitutional amendment that would ensure parties in Barbados which get a reasonable proportion of the vote should have the right to have a seat assigned,” said Welch, a retired deputy principal of UWI and former dean.(JS).


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