by Linda Straker
- Volunteers needed to serve as monitors at polling stations
- Civil society groups and organisations can nominate persons
Alex Phillip, Supervisor of Elections says that the Parliament Elections Office (PEO) needs persons to serve as monitors at polling stations on Referendum Day to ensure that the exercise is conducted in accordance with the law.
“In a general election, the various political parties will have their respective agents to observe the process during the voting period, but because the upcoming polls will be a referendum there are no official observers; but the law mandates that there be observers in the form of persons from recognised groups,” he said.
“Civil society groups and organisations such as those representing the religious community, fishermen, agricultural, charity and developmental groups can nominate persons to volunteer their service for this national exercise,” he explained.
“A referendum has nothing to do with politics so there is no political branding. It’s a national exercise and those who are serving as monitors will be there as a member of an organisation,” he said. He advised that no individual can nominate him or herself to serve as a monitor, but must be recommended by an organisation.
Grenadians will be voting in the second referendum on 6 November 2018, almost two years after they voted on 7 bills which could have resulted in major changes to the constitution which became the supreme law of the land after the island gained independence in February 1974.
The aim of the exercise is for the 79,397 voters to approve the 14-year-old Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice as the final appellate court for the island, presently the London-based Privy Council.
According to the law, at least two-thirds of the persons who participate in the referendum must say yes to the amendment for it to be approved.
The CCJ settles disputes between the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Member States and presently serves as the highest court of appeals on civil and criminal matters for the national courts of Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana.
In November 2016 Grenadians voted 9,492 in favour and 12,434 against in a referendum which had 6 other bills. The CCJ Bill will be the only one for the 2018 referendum.