Burke “Voting with Conscience” on Referendum Day

Nazim Burke
by Linda Straker

Leader of the Opposition Nazim Burke has announced that he will not be voting on the Constitution Reform Bills as part of the Parliamentary process following the debate, but will be voting with his conscience on Referendum Day.

“There will no vote by me today because you already have the simple majority,” Burke told the House when he wrapped up his presentation on the Constitution Reform Bills which was being debated in the Wednesday sitting of the Upper House of Parliament.

In his contribution, Burke called on Government to announce the Referendum Date and not to keep it a secret. “In Scotland, the people knew the date more than year in advance; in the UK, the people knew months in advance; but here, we don’t know when it will happen,” said Burke, who informed the House that once the date is announce he will be voting, and will be voting based on his conscience.

Declaring that he is not in support of the process, Burke said that the action of Government is based on the action of a few individuals “driven largely by self interest.”

In his contribution, Labour Senator Ray Roberts said that the Grenada Trades Union Council will be endorsing all the documents, and will encourage workers to vote with conscience. “As a principle, we will not be on any platform trying to influence the court of action,” he told the House.

In January 2014, Government appointed the Constitution Reform Advisory Committee. This committee comprises Dr Francis Alexis QC, Chairman; Robert Branch, Ruggles Ferguson, Sandra Ferguson, Norman Gilbert, Pastor Alfred Horsford, Naeisha John, Dr Lawrence Joseph, Kindra Mathurine–Stewart, Sherry–Ann Noel, Bert Patterson, Senator Simon Stiell, Tillman Thomas (former Prime Minister), and Margaret Wilkinson.

The mission of the committee is to continue the consultation process on Constitution Reform; and in this regard, advise Government on the way forward.

Following numerous consultations with various stakeholder groups, a number of bills were presented in the Parliament for debate. These bills are already approved in the Lower House of Parliament and required a simple majority in the Upper House.

A date is yet to be name for the referendum vote.

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