By Linda Straker
Dr Francis Alexis, Chairman of the Constitution Reform Advisory Committee has asked the National Democratic Congress to reconsider the decision to withdraw from the 13 member grouping which represents a broad cross-section of stakeholders and whose mission is to continue the consultation process on Constitution Reform and advise Government on the way forward.
On Monday during a news conference at the NDC headquarters, Nazim Burke, Political Leader of the NDC read a letter which he had sent to Dr Alexis explaining that his party will be withdrawing from the Committee because in their view “what has transpired to date in the process does not subscribe to required standards.”
“Sir, we submit that the achievement of these laudable objectives requires an open, transparent and consultative process. In our view, what has transpired to date in the Constitution Reform Process demonstrates a failure on the part of the Committee to subscribe to the required standard. In the circumstances, we hereby serve notice to you of our decision to withdraw from membership in your Committee with immediate effect,” said the letter. The NDC is represented on the Committee by former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas while the alternate is Vincent Roberts, the Party’s Recording Secretary.
In his response to Burke’s Letter, Dr Alexis confirmed receiving the letter indicating the Party’s decision to withdraw but called on Burke and the Party to reconsider the move.
“This Holy Week in which we now are brings us especially into remembrance that no fault, no wrong, no sin is too egregious to be forgiven. Even as Jesus Christ, God the Son, hung stretched out, crucified, on the cross at Calvary, He prayed to God the Father to forgive His executioners,” said Dr Alexis.
“I ask that, in that spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation of this Holy Week, NDC patriotically re-consider its said decision. I hold myself ready to communicate further with NDC to discuss this matter to see if a way may be found to advance Constitution Reform in the national interest. Meanwhile, I pray that God richly bless our Nation,” said the letter which also sent to members of the press.
On Tuesday, Legal Affairs Minister Elvin Nimrod said that it was regrettable that the NDC had decided to withdraw from the Committee and was of the view that the action of the political party will not negatively impact future activities.
“We regret that they have withdrawn because as you know Government is very much interested in making this a broad-base committee where everybody is involved non-partisan, where all the social partners are involved, and make sure that we let it be for the benefit for the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique… it’s not about NNP or NDC,” said Nimrod.
The Cabinet of Grenada in January 2014 approved a committee representing persons from various sectors including the church, media, political parties, trade unions, youth, civil society and the Bar Association to sit on the constitution reform Committee.