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Referendum Bill gets full vote of the Parliament


After a day of heated debate, all 15 elected representatives of the House of Assembly voted to approve the Referendum Bill last Wednesday evening.{{more}}

Despite the consensus among members of both the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) and the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) for the bill, the NDP remained adamant it would vote ‘no’ in the referendum.

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said his party has taken this stance due to several unresolved fundamental differences with the proposed constitution.

The elected representatives: Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, Sir Louis Straker, Montgomery Daniel, Mike Browne, Selmon Walters, Dr. Douglas Slater, Dr. Jerrol Thompson, Giryln Miguel, Rene Baptiste, Clayton Burgin, Conrad Sayers, Glen Beache, Dr. Godwyn Friday and Terrence OIlivierre were joined in the support of the bill by Senators Julian Francis, Rochelle Ford and Richard Williams of the incumbent ULP, and Major St. Clair Leacock of the NDP.

The passage of the bill clears the way for the referendum on November 25, 2009, to alter the Constitution of St.Vincent and the Grenadines in accordance with section 38 (3) (b) of the Constitution.

Minister of Electoral Matters Rene Baptiste, in her closing speech, thanked both sides of the House for supporting the bill.

Senators Daniel Cummings and Saboto Caesar were absent from the proceedings.