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Constituency boundary increase uncertain

Constituency boundary increase uncertain

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As St. Vincent and the Grenadines moves closer to general elections, constitutionally due by mid-2006, there’s still uncertainty as to whether there will be an increase in the constituency boundaries, as anticipated by some.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, however, told reporters Tuesday that there was a procedure to follow in changing constituency boundaries. He said a Constituency Boundaries Commission, comprising three persons, has to be appointed by the Governor-General. He explained that the Governor-General in his own deliberation appoints the Chairman of the Commission while the other two members are each appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. He said he has nominated prominent lawyer and former Attorney General, Arthur Williams, to be a member of the Commission.

Dr. Gonsalves said a Constituency Boundaries Commission is appointed under a number of different circumstances, and one such circumstance is when census has been held.

“A census has been held, the report has been accepted by Cabinet and the report has been published in the Government Gazette so the circumstances have arisen for the appointment of a Constituency Boundaries Commission,” he said.

The Prime Minister said he did not know how

long the Constituency Boundaries Commission would take, as “clearly, its work will have to be completed in time for all of us to know whether there is going to be any boundary changes.”

Dr. Gonsalves said that whenever the Governor-General dissolves Parliament and names a date in the election writ for the next general elections, “all of us will know what those boundaries are”.

The Prime Minister said as far as an anticipated increase in constituencies was concerned, he did not know what the Boundaries Commission would recommend or what changes to the boundaries they would discuss. He noted that “Parliament itself has not passed any law, as it can do, to increase the number of seats.” He added that it was a procedure that must be followed in order to increase seats.

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