As part of its initiatives to provide Grenadians with an opportunity to contribute to the Constitution Review process, hundreds of Grenadians are expected to gather at the Trade Center on 15 October for a National Consultation.
“This is an event where we want as much participation from Grenadians regardless of location, profession, political affiliation, we just want everyone to come out and make a contribution to the discussion,” said Dr Francis Alexis, Chairman of the Constitution Review Advisory Committee.
The Committee which was launched earlier in the year has had more than 20 discussions throughout the island. In July it submitted the top 25 recommendations from the People to the Cabinet with a proposal that the referendum focus on the top 12.
Alexis admits that since the recommendations were made public not only there have been increase discussion among various groups in the population but more people have come forward want to getting a better understanding about these recommendations. “It’s for this very reason we are organising that consultation for October, where we will once again give the population to tell what they want to see happen as we continue the process to review and reform our constitution,” he said.
“This consultation will make us who are members of the committee familiarise ourselves with the thinking and wishes of the people, that is why we want people to come out, let what is done be a reflection of what the people want,” he adds.
The consultation itself will be an event organised and managed by Jude Bernard. “My role is really to help them this event be successful through wide participation of Grenadians regardless of who they are, constitution review is a very serious undertaking and its should not be taken lightly, it is an opportunity for the people to say what they want,” Bernard explains.
He said that the approach being taken is to send invitations to community groups and organisations as well as general invitation to anyone who wishes to attend. This will not be a consultation for one specific group, it is an event for everyone Grenadian National to come and contribute,” he reiterated.
The Referendum Poll to amend the Constitution will involve a process in which the House of Representatives will first have to give a two thirds majority to the Bill and a simple majority in the Senate. However, the Bills for the referendum must remain for a period of at least 90 days between the first and second reading in the Lower House, before it is read for a third time and passed. The tentative date for the referendum is 10 February, 2015.
By Linda Straker