New date for Referendum

Grenadians will have to wait a little while longer before they go to the polls to vote for changes to the 1974 Constitution document.

Officials of the Keith Mitchell-led government in St. George’s had first given the date of February 10t, 2015 for the holding of the referendum in order to get a two-thirds majority of the electorate to effect the change.

However, during a sitting of the House of Representative last week Thursday, Minister of Legal Affairs, Elven Nimrod told the Lower House that  the Constitutional Reform Advisory Committee (CRAC) which is working assiduously to make sure the process for constitutional reform is concluded believes more consultations are

Minister Nimrod said although there are a few detractors that are trying “to throw some ink in the water” it would not deter constitutional reform from taking place in Grenada.

Minister Nimrod who is the Deputy Political Leader of the governing New National Party (NNP) told the House it is the State of Grenada that is deserving constitutional reform and it is not an NNP nor NDC (National Democratic Congress) system.

He also announced that CRAC will be engage in a donors’ conference in Barbados, at which the United Nations, the Organisation of American States (OAS), and the Caribbean Court of Justice will participate.

He said these groups have given a commitment to provide financial assistance to the island for the process of constitutional reform.

Earlier this year, CRAC presented government with 12 items to be put before the people in a referendum.

These included replacing the Privy Council in London by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the island’s final appellate court, putting the name of Carriacou & Petite Martinique on the passport and removing the letter “E” from Petite in the name of the small sister isle.

However, the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) reacted by suggesting that most of those items were not of substance, and that some other recommendations that were previously identified by past Constitutional Reform committees should instead be put on the referendum ballot.

Congress initiated a petition to press forward with its case and was able to get 4,001 signatures to present to CRAC that is headed by Dr. Francis Alexis during the national consultation on Constitutional Reform that was held on October 15 at the Grenada Trade Center.

The petition asked persons to support the inclusion on the referendum ballot  term limits for the Prime Minister, a fixed date for holding general elections, Proportional Representation in Parliament, single parliamentary Chamber, an official Opposition Leader at all times, and for the Members of Parliament to select the

NDC’s Political Leader, Senator Nazim Burke continues to insists that constitutional reform is not about changing letters or names in the
constitution but the overriding objective is to improve the operation of the democratic system.

Speculation is rife that Congress will push for a “no vote” when Grenadians are called upon to go to the polls to vote on the proposed changes to be made to the Constitution.

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