NDC speaks on Constitutional reform

The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is threatening not to co-operate on Constitutional Reform and will not sit back and allow itself to be used as porn in a game being played out by the one-year old Keith Mitchell-led administration.

The New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Mitchell has embarked upon a programme of islandwide consultation aimed at making certain amendments to the 1974 Constitution document.

Addressing members of the local media at a press conference, Political Leader of Congress, Nazim Burke called on the regime in power to first show respect for the Constitution before it seeks to make changes to it.

He felt that Prime Minister Mitchell is more concerned about amending the Constitution rather than being serious about fundamental changes.

“What we are seeing really is a thirst for legacy; it has nothing to do with any genuine desire to reform the constitution because if these folks were committed to constitutional reform they must first respect the existing constitution,” he told reporters.

“We are not going to allow ourselves to be a porn in this thirst for legacy and we cannot sit by and watch the government and its surrogates make a mockery of the existing Constitution and at the same time pretending that they’re concerned about the Constitution,” he said.

Congress has accused the Mitchell government of a violation of the Constitution when it got the Governor-General to appoint a non-legal person in Works Minister, Gregory Bowen to act as Attorney General.

According to Burke, if the government continues to violate the constitution, the NDC party will withdraw its cooperation in the constitutional reform process now underway and focus their energies on the defense of the existing constitution.

“We are not going to make a mockery of this, we say enough is enough because the government knows what has to be done, the Governor General knows what has to be done, the Prime Minister knows what has to be done, the Attorney General knows what has to be done, the law makers know what has to be done,” he said.

Burke stated that NDC has taken the position that both the government and Governor General dame Cecile La Grenade are being unconstitutional in the running of the affairs of the Office of the Supervisor of Elections.

He noted that one month after the resignation of Aaron Francois as Supervisor of Elections, no one has yet been appointed to fill the position.

In addition, he said the appointment of a second Deputy Supervisor of Elections and the publication of the Electoral list are yet to be done.

“There is simply one explanation we can say for this, somebody has decided it is in their safer interest, it is in their better political interest to do nothing and to leave the office unsupervised while somebody is in there reporting to nobody and in charge of the Electoral Office, a person who has never worked there before, we don’t know what the relationship is, answerable to no one, nobody knows what he is doing and the person who is trained by the OAS and knows the job has been sent somewhere else and there’s no Supervisor in place,” he said.

“We wish to bring this issue on the table because we will make it absolutely clear there will be no cooperation with a government that is prepared to disobey the Constitution of Grenada. There will be no co-operation in respect to any constitutional reform when the Constitution itself is not being respected,” he added.

Burke chided the Mitchell regime for showing total disregard for the existing constitution and as such there is no encouragement for NDC to cooperate with the constitutional reform process.

“Why change it (the Constitution) if you’re not going to obey the existing one – what will make you obey the second one that you’re trying to change. In other words, why are you taking us on this lollipop ride when in fact you have no intentions of respecting the constitution?” he said.

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