Grenada was the winner declared chairman of the Constitution Reform Advisory Committee, Dr. Francis Alexis as he briefed the media on Friday November 25 the day after the historic constitution reform referendum.
In lauding the success of the Thursday 24 referendum, Dr. Alexis said Grenada proved that its democracy has matured and under the watchful eyes of the rest of the world, the citizens of Grenada did themselves proud.
He drew attention to the fact that the highest number of votes cast regarding any one bill was the number cast regarding the Caribbean Court of Justice and other Justice Related Matters and that the margin between the no votes and yes votes on that bill was not very large.
He thinks that based on the figures returned, at least in the case of that bill “it is not all over”. However he said it is not the responsibility of the CRAC to chart the way forward for that bill.
Other bills he said that did not return significantly high margins between the yes and no votes were the Name of State bill and the Elections and Boundaries Commission bill.
This has led to suggestions in some quarters that there should be a return to those bills, however, Dr. Alexis said, this is not for the committee to decide.
The chairman gave the assurance that the committee accepts the results on all of the bills saying, “the people have spoken decisively”. In his opinion; the referendum was a success in that it went smoothly and it put Grenada on a pinnacle in terms of demonstrating that democracy is alive in this country.
Dr. Alexis said when the committee receives the required report from the Supervisor of Elections; it will hold a post mortem and forward to the Minister of Legal Affairs its view on the way forward. In the meantime the committee will continue to function because its work will not be complete until it has the report in hand.
Speaking on behalf of the Grenada Trade Union Council, Bert Patterson said, the fact that the majority of people who voted returned a verdict of “no” to all of the bills means that we will have to be satisfied with the present constitution for the time being.
He said issues of how it will be changed in the future or whether it will ever change in the future will have to be a political decision because the constitution has not been changed and therefore the situations remains that the only party that can decide to send something to referendum is still the representative government.
Dr. Alexis congratulated the Supervisor of Elections and his staff for “a job well done” and praised the people for Grenada for “the way they conducted themselves throughout the process.