Lalsingh calls for radical change to Constitution

Former Parliamentarian Kenny Lalsingh has called for radical changes to be made to the 1974 Grenada Constitution.

The former St. Patrick West Member of Parliament make the statement while appearing on a local radio station hours before the second and third readings of eight Bills on Tuesday to cushion changes of the 1974 Grenada Constitution.

Lalsingh, a businessman by profession, stated that the country has outlived the present constitution and it is time for change.

The MP who served his constituency during 1984-95 believes that a lot of people do not want the changes to be made as presently put to the people by the current rulers.

“…If you really want to change Grenada around, you cannot have constitutional positions that look after people even if they are unproductive. The constitution must protect everyone, but the constitution must be a progressive document that is written in today’s days and can go for another 50 years. I believe that the constitution has outlived its usefulness,” he said.

Lalsingh who served as the Chairman of the ruling New National Party (NNP) until a year ago, is not pleased that there is no opposing views coming from the debate in the Lower House of Parliament as it is totally controlled by one side.

“The Lower House right now… doesn’t have a debate, and I think that is very, very sad. Debate in Parliament is very, very useful. It is important to hear the other side’s view,” he said.

“I could never feel good in a House debating, I alone, nobody to oppose what I’m doing, nobody to put a different perspective. I don’t think it is healthy,” he added.

The NNP won all 15 seats at the polls in 2013 – the second time that the party has done this following up on its clean sweep in 1999.

The former Parliamentarian who served as a political prisoners under the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution, believes that the time has come for the country to put in place a Unicameral House as most other Caribbean Countries.

He stated that this will not only be cost-effective, but it will also save time, and provide for a better debate in Parliament.

“The Unicameral House is good for small States,” he quipped.

According to Lalsingh, the institution of a Unicameral House would solve the problem of there being a Leader of the Opposition in case one side did not win seats to sit in Parliament.

Ensuring the appointment of the Leader of the Opposition at all times is one of the Bills that was passed in Parliament on Tuesday for constitutional reform.

The ex-St Patrick MP appealed to both Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and Leader of the main Opposition National Democratic Congress, Senator Nazim Burke to remove the “selected Leader of the Opposition position” if there are 15 seats for any one political party in Parliament.

“Remove it and put in place a Unicameral House. Unicameral House is a more progressive thing,” he said.

A date is still to be set by government for the holding of the planned Referendum to effect the proposed constitutional changes.

The most fundamental is to abolish appeals to the Privy Council in London and to recognise the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the final appellate court.

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