The publishers of CaribUpdate Weekly have launched a scathing attack on local Attorney-at-law, Claudette Joseph for the position she has taken on the seven Bills to be voted upon in the upcoming referendum on Constitutional Reform.
Joseph has been pointing out flaws in the seven Constitution Bills in written articles published in the local media and appearances on programmers aired on some radio and television stations.
She was the subject of a recent attack by Caribupdate whose founder is Hamlet Mark, the current Senior Media Advisor to the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
A front-page article in the newspaper branded Joseph as the face of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the referendum.
In response, the female attorney said that while the weekly CaribUpdate is seeking to discredit her, she is not disturbed as she sees herself as being one of the voices of the people.
Appearing on the weekly NDC Radio Heartbeat Programme last Sunday, Joseph said the newspaper charged that initially she supported the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), but has now changed to advising people to vote “no” on every Bill.
“I challenge Mr. Hamlet Mark and those at the CaribUpdate (Weekly) Newspaper to show me where, any where, in my postings on social media, my interviews on radio and television, my articles I have written so far, show me where I said to vote “no” on anything,” she said.
According to Joseph, to date no one has been able to refute the truth about what she has said about the Bills in the public domain.
She pointed out that all she does is to read the sections of the bill as a Lawyer, interpret them and explain to the people “in non-technical plain English Language” what the sections state.
She said that before publishing the articles she gets at least two of her legal colleagues within the Grenada Bar Association (GBA) to proofread them.
“They (CaribUpdate) cannot shoot down the message that I bring, so they’re trying to discredit me by labeling me as being part of the NDC,” she remarked.
The female attorney stressed that she has never bowed to pressure in the past so the efforts of the Mark-led publication to discredit her will not work.
“Stop trying to spin this thing into what it’s not,” she advised her detractors.
Joseph said she has come to realise that every flaw in the bills that Congress has alluded to turned out to be correct.
However, she said it is unfortunate that the people of Grenada did not generally accept it.
The female attorney indicated that during her public discourse she has been speaking about the flaws that are contained in the process of the referendum which is scheduled for November 24th.
She noted that interestingly Lecturer at the Barbados campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr. Wendy Grenade who was a guest on last week’s “Sunday’s With George Grant Programme” in the company of Chairman of the Constitution Reform Advisory Committee (CRAC) repeatedly spoke of the process being flawed.
Dr. Grenade who presented a lecture on “Grenada Constitution Reform Special Assembly” told the host of the programme that as a student of democracy she has a serious problem with the process.
She spoke of wanting to see in the referendum a maximum overhaul of the constitution which she said is important.
“We are renewing our independence compact with Grenada… and we should have done it better than this,” said Dr. Grenade.
She also said she wanted to see a reduction in the powers of the Prime Minister, proportional representation, and powers of recall of a Parliamentary Representative as part of the referendum.
“I think the process was flawed,” Dr. Grenade told the programme host.
The UWI lecturer believes that the content and process were compromised, but the method is good.
Attorney Joseph chided Dr. Alexis for his failure to not challenge Dr. Grenade.
“Dr. Alexis was there with her (Wendy Grenade) as a guest and not one occasion did he chime in to challenge her, and mind you she was here on the invitation of CRAC… and she said quite categorically in her capacity as a Political Scientist that the process was very flawed…”, she said.
“… Dr. Alexis – unlike when I say it in his presence or otherwise, he did not attack her, he did not try to defend it, he did not try to say that is not the case,” she added.