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Opposition Leader says ‘No’ to Round Table talks

Opposition Leader says ‘No’ to Round Table talks


Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace will not attend any activity related to Constitution Reform in St.Vincent and the Grenadines which is summoned by Parnell Campbell, Chairman of the Constitution Reform Steering Committee (CRSC).{{more}}

But amidst Eustace’s stated position, Campbell remains adamant that he will not resign his post unless Parliament revokes his position.

Eustace’s latest move, announced on Monday, September 21st, 2009, comes less than a week after The Opposition Leader called on Campbell to resign from the post, which according to Eustace, attracts a monthly salary of $6,500.

On Monday afternoon Eustace stuck to his word and did not show up at the National Round Table Discussion on the St.Vincent and the Grenadines 2009 Constitution, held at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown.

Campbell, chairing the discussions, opened his remarks by indicating that he had received a letter from Eustace stating that he would not be attending the session. This meeting was, however, attended by civil servants, former members of the Constitution Reform Committee (CRC) and

members of the (CRSC), as well as students and staff of the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies.

In Eustace’s letter he stated that he no longer recognized Campbell as the CRSC Chairman.

“Since you have now assumed a position as a member of the ‘Yes Vote’ Committee set up by the Cabinet of St.Vincent and the Grenadines in your capacity as CRSC Chairman, I no longer recognize you as CRSC Chairman and will therefore not attend any activity related to Constitution Reform in St.Vincent and the Grenadines that is summoned by you,” Eustace outlined.

“His job is to explain. Explain in detail what the constitution says to ensure that the public understands it and they then can take a decision as whether to vote yes or no,” Eustace explained as he called for members of the CRSC to be objective on the matter.

Eustace said his decision was reinforced by the assertion of the Prime Minister that any other member of the CRSC can support a ‘Yes Vote’ if they so desire.

Campbel,l in a press release last week, responded to Eustace’s call for his resignation by stating he had a mandate from the House of Assembly to carry out all acts deemed expedient or necessary to assist that institution in implementing constitutional reform in St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

The former Attorney General noted he interprets this as requiring him to carry out all expedient or necessary acts to assist the House of Assembly in implementing Constitution reform.

“I therefore consider myself as having a duty to campaign actively for “Yes” vote in the Referendum. I cannot discharge that duty imposed on me by the Resolution of 7th June 2009, co-sponsored by the Hon. Leader of the Opposition, unless I play an active part in the campaign for a “Yes” vote,” Campbell outlined.

Campbell ended his release by stating, unless the House of Assembly withdraws or modifies his mandate, he will continue to be active in the “Yes” campaign as long as he has health and strength.

Eustace, commenting on Campbell’s stance, said he rejects the explanation, totally. (HN)