As Grenada makes a second attempt to get the electorate to say “yes” to the Trinidad-based, Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final appellate court through a referendum on November 6th, one citizen is asking his countrymen to vote “no”.
Former Public Servant, Joseph Roberts staged a one-man protest Friday, described by him as a “Vote No Campaign” at the entrance of Mt. Wheldale, the road leading to the newly opened Parliament Building while the Senate was in session.
Roberts told reporters who approached him that the bill is not in the “main interest and authority” of the people and that it sends a message of disrespect to them from the powers-that-be.
Against that backdrop, he issued a call for the people to come out on Referendum Day on November 6th and “vote no” to the CCJ Bill.
His chants on Friday were: “Get the message, share the message, take the message, vote No.”
Roberts said: “I am here at the junction of the Parliamentarians and the people. I am sending a message, both for the politicians, parliament and the people, the masses… I am asking the politicians to have more respect for the people and I am asking the people to vote no at the CCJ referendum.
“…One of the reasons – while the Parliamentarians are debating the bill, the people have not seen the bill, the people are going to vote on a CCJ bill which also contains and makes reference to the CCJ agreement and the general mass of the people do not have a clue as to how the bill looks, much more to read it.
“I am saying it is unfair, we need respect, I am saying to the people I am here on a Vote No Campaign saying to the people, there is no harm in voting no.
Roberts extolled the many virtues for the electorate in voting down the CCJ bill once again on the second Referendum in two years.
“You have a better chance to get more information about the issue…get the message, share the message, take the message, vote No.
I am hoping that the politicians, the powers-that-be get the message to show more respect to people.“I am saying to the people again to vote no, moreso that we can have many of the local issues addressed, come let us negotiate, let the people know that the power is in their hands and hoping that they get the message and Vote No for the referendum.
“…Look at the introduction of the bill, it is not written in the main interest and authority of the people and for this reason, the people must reject the bill and ask the politicians to show them more respect.
The CCJ and six other bills were rejected by the people in Grenada’s first attempt at a referendum on November 24th, 2016.
The Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government has embarked upon a high-pitch campaign by bringing in a number of high-profile regional figures to promote its “Yes” vote campaign including the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley and former CCJ President, Sir Denis Byron of St. Kitts.
PM Mitchell is confident that he can get Grenadians to vote for the CCJ this time around since in 2016 he did not campaign for the CCJ bill.
The Grenadian leader is confident of prevailing on November 6 given his third 15-0 clean sweep at the polls on March 13.