The constitutional reform that would have removed Elizebth II as head of state in St. Vincent & The Grenadines, replacing her with a non-executive president, has been soundly defeated, falling considerably short of the two-thirds majority needed to effect the constitutional change. Only 43.13% of voters supported the new charter, which would have replaced the one created when the islands gained independence from Britain in 1979. 55.64% of voters opposed the changes, many saying that citizens rather than Parliament should elect the president.
The vote came as Queen Elizabeth II was on a rare visit to the region to attend a Commonwealth summit in Trinidad.
The constitutional reform was supported by the ruling United Labour Party, and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves campaign hard for it. The opposition New Democratic Party argued that “it did nothing to reduce the power of the Prime Minister or to strengthen democracy in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.” Both parties had agreed in principle that the removal of the Queen as head of state was a desirable goal.
For the original report go to http://www.antillean.org/2009/11/25/constitutional-reform-referendum-defeated-in-st-vincent-the-grenadines/