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GRENADA-High Court to decide on referendum application

Featured Grenadians are expected to vote on whether or not to replace the London-based Privy Council with the Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court.   Grenadians are expected to vote on whether or not to replace the London-based Privy Council with the Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court.  
ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Nov 22, CMC – High Court Judge Wyante Adrien-Roberts is expected to deliver a judgement later on Tuesday that is likely to determine whether or not the November 24 referendum for a new constitution will go ahead as scheduled.

But police officers, who normally vote before the general voting population, are schedule to cast their ballots on Tuesday. Polling booths opened at 6:00 am (local time) and are schedule to close 11 hours later.

Justice Adrien-Roberts heard four hours of arguments from lawyers representing the complainant, Valerie A Thompson-Duncan and the defendant, the Supervisor of Elections, Alex Phillip.

Last Friday, attorneys representing Thompson-Duncan filed documents seeking an injunction to stop the November 24 referendum claiming flaws in the process of publishing the Writs for the referendum and the decision by the Parliamentary Elections Office to used ballot forms with the October 27, 2016 – the original date of the referendum.

court-rulPhillip is being represented by Attorney General Cajeton Hood, Solicitor General Dwight Horsford, Chairman of the Constitution Reform Advisory Committee and constitutional expert Dr Francis Alexis and Ruggles Ferguson who also serves as a representative of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) on the Advisory Committee.

Thompson-Duncan is being represented by former attorney general Jimmy Bristol and Claudette Joseph both of whom have campaigned for the public to vote no for each of the seven bills which will seek to amend sections of the constitution once a two third majority of the “yes” votes are obtained.

When the matter ended last Monday evening the lawyers emerged from the Court with mix expressions. Bristol and Joseph said nothing to the waiting press while Horsford told reporters that the judgement is reserved for Tuesday.

Hood told reporters that nothing has changed so far and as a result the Police will be voting as schedule on Tuesday with the general voting public expected to cast their ballots on Thursday.

Dr Alexis said that Thompson-Duncan attorneys had withdrawn one of the submissions.

“They were contenting viciously that you could not use the old ballot form because it’s of the first importance that a date be on the ballot paper and that date be the actual date of the referendum,” he said.

“We ask them to show us which law says so and we took them through the form to show that they had completely misconceived what that was saying; at least they were gracious enough to say very well, we concede that point! so they made the work of the court easier for tomorrow (Tuesday).

“There is only one other matter remaining which is, really, what is the proper interpretation of section five (2b) of the Referendum Act, they gave their interpretation, we gave ours and the Court will rule,” he said.

Grenadians are expected to vote on whether or not to replace the London-based Privy Council with the Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court. Among the other bills to be voted upon in Thursday’s referendum are term limits for the prime minister and to change the name of the tri-nation.

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Last modified onTuesday, 22 November 2016 14:54
  • Countries: Grenada

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