Minister Liburd identifies two issues for future constitutional reform

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 17TH 2013 (CUOPM) – The relationship between the island of Nevis and the island of St. Kitts and citizenship are two issues that need to be addressed in any future constitutional reform.

That’s according to the Hon. Marcella Liburd, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Health, Community and Social Development and Culture.

“The relationship with Nevis because I think that is really something that needs to be strengthened and straightened between St. Kitts and Nevis. We (The Labour Party) strongly believes that we should be one country,” said Minister Liburd, a career lawyer and a former Speaker in the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly.

“Perhaps we need to look at the relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis in a different context and a different light. So that is one of the serious things that we should try to consider with respects to St. Kitts and Nevis,” she said during a WINNFM.

Ms. Liburd said any constitutional reform also needs to deal with the section that deals with citizenship.

She admitted that changing the constitution is not an easy thing to do.

“We have tried on more than one occasion to have constitutional change, since this Labour Party has been here. We have had opposition from the People’s Action Movement, who at one point refused to put anybody on a Constitutional Reform Committee in order to change these laws. They refused,” she said pointing out a fact that Sam Condor was the Chairman of that particular committee.

“We were also getting some opposition from Nevis to some extent because remember we are in a very peculiar situation with the St. Kitts and Nevis Constitution,” said Ms. Liburd, who pointed out that there is no other constitution in the world that is set up the way the St. Kitts and Nevis Constitution is.

“So it was not an easy thing to do and it still remains as not being an easy thing to do because you have all these dynamics that you have to play around with. At the time PAM said that they are not putting up anybody on the constitutional committee, because they would not be considering any constitutional change unless electoral reform is in it,” she pointed out
“That was the reason they (PAM) gave us and then when electoral reform came, they didn’t put anybody on that committee either because of some other reason. So it is a political game,” said Ms. Liburd.

She said it was not because of want of trying to get constitutional changes “because we have set up committees since this government has been in power to try to come about with constitutional changes.”

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