Sunday, December 20, 2009

PM "humbly" accepts results

St Vincent and the Grenadines' Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has accepted the wishes of the people following the voting in Wednesday's referendum to adopt a new constitution.55.64% of the voters cast their votes not to accept a proposed constitution, which would have seen Queen Elizabeth being replaced as the country's Head of State. 43.13% voted to change the present constitution handed to the country when it gained political independence in 1979.

Gonsalves told members of the media that he “humbly” accept the wishes of the people but said he was satisfied he was on the right track to introduce a new constitution to the people at this time. 

Gonsalves give some reasons why the people did not accept the new constitution and listed some them as low voter turn out when compared to the general elections of 2005; persons uncertainty about what the new constitution held for them; “fear of the future under the new constitution, induced largely by some unwholesome scaremongering propaganda of the no campaign, an abstention from voting against the back drop against the backdrop of grievances against the government or against their parliamentary representative.”

He said the no voters appear to be largely an ad-mixture of persons associated to the opposition New Democratic Party, which lead the no campaign, and persons who actually succumb to the scaremongering “which turned out to be more successful than we anticipated.” 

Following the defeat of the referendum, NDP Leader, Arnhim Eustace, renewed his call for Gonsalves to resign.

This does not seem to be on Gonsalves' mind as he told the nation his Unity Labour Party was elected in 2005 and the government will continue to do its work. 

“We will continue to pursue the path of economic develop as stated in our policy statement, we will deepened, consolidate our education revolution, the same with the housing revolution, with health and wellness, physical infrastructure, the international airpot and al,l the important policies and projects to which the people have voted this government into office us into office and expect us to pursue,” Gonsalves said.

“We have within the government and within our party some examinations to do. Where there are grievances those grievances must be tackled effectively and where representation has fallen short of the desired level that must improve.” 

Gonsalves said he intends to lead his ULP “successfully” in the next general elections.

He is expected to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Trinidad where Queen Elizabeth will also be.

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Personally, I think that the requirement of a 2/3 majority means that any constitutional changes must represent a consensus of the two parties, which means that it isn't going to happen as long as the parties are like those in the US and the UK where they are always in opposition no matter what the content of the matter. KE