Constitutional Reform Bills being drafted

The legal framework to give teeth to constitutional reform on the island is now being worked upon, according to Legal Affairs Minister, Elvin Nimrod.

The Deputy Prime Minister who made the announcement in Parliament last week Friday said government is in the process of drafting Bills with the hope of meeting the deadline for the holding of the referendum.

Minister Nimrod said the proposed date for the referendum was changed on three occasions as a means of accommodating a broader cross-section of the general public in the public education sessions, and for the Constitution Reform Advisory Committee (CRAC) to provide much more information to the people.

CRAC had presented a number of recommendations to government for
consideration to take to the people for voting in the referendum.

They include the doing away of the British Privy Council as the final appellate court in the jurisdiction and for Grenada to turn instead to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), appointment of the Head of State by an Electoral College, the Prime Minister to serve for only three consecutive terms, and the need for an Opposition Leader at all times.

After the Bills are introduced for its first reading in the Lower House of Parliament, there is a ninety-day period before they are read a second time.

Once passed in the House, the Bills are then forwarded to the Senate before they are taken to the referendum.

Two-thirds of the persons voting in the referendum must vote in favour of the proposed constitution changes for it to become effective.

The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has pulled out of CRAC citing the failure of the State to accept several meaningful recommendations to be included on the Referendum ballot.

Speculation is rife that Congress is hoping to use the referendum to test the present popularity of the NNP administration of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

NDC is trying to rebound following its 15-0 loss at the polls to NNP in 2013.

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