UPP denies stalling CCJ referendum process

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Leader of the United Progressive Party, (UPP), Harold Lovell is disputing the claim that the party is delaying the referendum on the Caribbean Court of Justice, (CCJ).
Lionel “Max” Hurst, government’s chief of staff said the opposition party was stalling the process after having expressed the desire for there to be overall constitutional reform. However, Hurst said the government would likely proceed with or without the support of the UPP.
November 6 has been set as the date when Antiguans and Barbudans will vote in the referendum to determine whether the CCJ would be the nation’s final court of appeal.
Speaking to OBSERVER media, Lovell said the perquisite for such decision, calls for greater discussion on the constitution and why it should be modified.
“We feel that what people need is a whole education about our constitution and why it should be reformed. But not simply to just brush aside the concerns that people have on the issue of the CCJ,” he said.
“Our position as a party is that it would be much better to engage the people of Antigua and Barbuda in a national education campaign on constitutional reform and include the CCJ discussion”, Lovell added.
According to the leader, there are also many anxieties from the public including political meddling.
“As it stands now, people are just seeing the CCJ. They believe there is going to be political interference and they have many concerns and many fears.” said Lovell.
He added that he does not think “shoving the process through”, would be the best way to bring about the desired results.
Currently, only four out of 15 Caricom countries have signed on to the regional court in its appellate jurisdiction.
These are Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana. Other Caricom countries use the London-based Privy Council.

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