A draft Grenada Constitution Reform (Amendment) Bill will soon be presented to Cabinet for approval as the country seeks to complete the first stage of the Constitution reform process.
That’s according to Legal Affairs Minister Elvin Nimrod who made the disclosure while delivering his ministerial statement during a sitting of the House of Representatives last week Friday at the Grenada Trade Centre, Morne Rouge, Grand Anse, St George.
“As of today Mr Speaker, the Grenada Draft Constitution Reform (Amendment) Bill was presented on behalf of the government,” Nimrod told the sitting.
The Member of Parliament for Carriacou & Petite Martinique announced that the draft bill is now under consideration and would be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers soon, “and we are hoping that in due course it would be approved and we would move forward.”
The Legal Affairs Minister said he was confident of the process going forward despite some issues raised by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“Despite efforts of others to derail it (the Constitution Reform process), his ministry is working towards achieving its October deadline to complete the first stage. We are looking at our deadline in October and we are hoping that we will meet that deadline,” he added.
“The Constitution reform process is moving quickly and the European Union is really doing its best Mr Speaker, especially in the area of the refinement of the fundamental rights…” said Minister Nimrod who also took the opportunity to “thank the Peoples Republic of China for their contributions to the process as well.
In April, Congress announced its decision to withdraw from the Dr. Francis Alexis-led Constitutional Reform Committee, citing lack of trust in the manner in which the exercise was being conducted.
NDC Political Leader, Senator Nazim Burke stated publicly that his party believes that “the proposed amendments to the Constitution leave unattended some of the most important and substantive issues that must be addressed in any constitutional reform.
He charged that the process adopted by the committee “in reaching its conclusions and in making its recommendations to the Cabinet fell short of what can reasonably be expected.”
NDC has been pushing and without luck to get the commission to put on the referendum ballot term limits for the Office of Prime Minister, fixed dates for general elections and the need for some kind of Proportional Representation for entry into the Parliament.
The opposition party leader is also calling for constitutional provisions for an Opposition Leader at all times, Unicameral Chamber of Parliament and for the election and tenure of the Head of State to be done by the entire Parliament.