St. George’s, November 26, 2009 – Vincentians have decided to remain with the Constitution adopted when their country gained Independence from Britain in 1979. They have rejected a proposed new one that was drafted by Grenadian Constitutional Lawyer, Dr. Francis Alexis.
In a referendum held yesterday on the proposed new Constitution, the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines voted 55-point-six-four percent against it. The “Yes’’ side garnered just over 43 percent support.
St. Vincent, like Grenada and most other English-speaking Caribbean countries, is a constitutional monarchy with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth the Second as titular Head of State, and with the Privy Council in London as the final appellant court. The proposed new Vincentian Constitution had called for changes to those arrangements, among others.
Many Grenadians, including Foreign Affairs Minister Peter David and Information Minister Senator Arley Gill, believe that even with the referendum loss, a momentum has been set for continuation of the discussion on the need for Constitutional change in the Caribbean.
Both ministers commended Vincentian Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, for what they describe as his bold and courageous effort at Constitutional reform in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.