THE SEVEN CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT BILLS 2016

Referendum Day is Thursday 24th November 2016. Citizens will be asked to cast their ballot to vote Yes or No to each of the seven constitutional amendment Bills.

The bills seek to amend the Grenada’s Constitution to: Improve fundamental rights and freedoms of all Grenadians, guarantee gender equality, making special provisions for people with disabilities, improve the electoral process, curtail the power of a Prime Minister and government, minimize corruption, make final appeals from the courts more accessible and less costly,and engender a spirit of nationalism.

To make the suggested changes to a constitution, a Referendum is required by section 39 (5) by not less than two-thirds of all the votes validly cast on that referendum.

The seven ballot papers on which each of the seven bills will be placed in alphabetical order are:

 

BALLOT PAPER NO 1:  CONSTITUTION OF GRENADA (CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE AND OTHER JUSTICE RELATED MATTERS) (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2016.

This Bill seeks to amend the Constitution(i) bysubstituting the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the final court of appeal for Grenada instead of the Privy Council; (ii)to call the Supreme court in Grenada, the “Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court” instead of “the Supreme Court of Grenada and the West Indies Associated States”; (iii) to entrench a Code of Conduct as a constitutional provision in order to minimize corruption among public officials; and (iv) to entitle public officials when taking office to swear allegiance to the state of Grenada instead of to Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors.

BALLOT PAPER NO.2: OF GRENADA (ELECTIONS AND BOUNDARIES COMMISSION) (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2016.

CONSTITUTION. This Bill seeks to amend the Constitution (i) to substitute an Elections and Boundaries Commission comprising two members each from the government and the main opposition with an independent Chairman, appointed by the Governor-General to oversee the registration of voters and the conduct of elections instead of a lone Supervisor of Elections; and (ii) to take over the functions of the Constituency Boundaries Commission which presently establishes constituency boundaries.

BALLOT PAPER NO. 3: CONSTITUTION OF GRENADA (ENSURING THE APPOINTMENT OF LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION) (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2016.

This Bill seeks to amend the Constitution to authorize the Governor-General to appoint a Leader of the Opposition from the party getting the second highest number of votes, if one party wins all the seats in general elections. That Leader of the Opposition will be entitled to sit in the House of Representatives and perform all the constitutional functions of a Leader of the Opposition.

BALLOT PAPER NO. 4: CONSTITUTION OF GRENADA (FIXED DATE FOR ELECTIONS) (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2016.

This Bill seeks to amend the Constitution to authorize Parliament to establish a particular day of a particular month after a fixed number of years, which must not exceed five years, following any dissolution of Parliament; however Parliament may be dissolved sooner than the fixed date if there is a successful “no confidence” motion in the government.

BALLOT PAPER NO. 5: CONSTITUTION OF GRENADA (NAME OF STATE) (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2016.

This Bill seeks to amend the Constitution (i) to change the name of the state from Grenada to “Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique”. (ii) To establish the territory of the state to include Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique and “all other areas which were a part of Grenada at the time of independence in February 1974.

BALLOT PAPER NO. 6:  CONSTITUTION OF GRENADA (RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS) (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2016.

This Bill seeks to amend the Constitution(i) to expand the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals including rights of citizens under arrest; (ii) to protect intellectual property; (iii) to protect children generally, whether born in or out of wedlock; (iv) to guarantee public funded education to all children under the age of 16 years and those with disabilities under the age of 18 years;(v) to guarantee gender equality so that both men and women shall have equal rights and status in all spheres of life; (vi) to establish directive principles regarding: (a)  the protection of the environment; and (b)  the establishment of an enabling environment for persons are physically, visually, aurally and or mentallychallenged.

BALLOT PAPER NO. 7: CONSTITUTION OF GRENADA (TERM OF OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER) (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2016.

The main purpose of this Bill is to amend the Constitution to debar or prevent someone from being appointed to the office of Prime Minister if that person has already served as Prime Minister for three consecutive parliamentary terms.

All electors must analyse each Bill, and indicate their approval or disapproval as their consciences guide them, by voting: Yes or No, on Referendum Day. Electors can vote for, one, two, three, four, five, six, all seven Bills when they go to the polls[1]

[1] The GBA acknowledges the authorship of Sir Dr. Lawrence Joseph of the Referendum in a Nutshell, which forms the basis of this Leaflet. © 2016

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