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Diaspora Critical To Constitutional Reform, Says Saint Lucian Official

CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Sept. 17, 2009: The chairperson of Saint Lucia’s Constitutional Reform Commission insists that the Caribbean-American Diaspora is critical to the Commission’s work on the island.

Speaking ahead of two meetings with the Saint Lucian-American Diaspora – scheduled for New York today, Thursday, Sept. 17th,  and Washington DC this Friday – Madam Justice Suzie d’Auvergne said for the first time Saint Lucians will have an opportunity to say what they would like to see in a written constitution to replace the present version which was handed down from Britain.

`(Saint Lucian-Americans) are Saint Lucians and I think they should have a say in everything,` said Madam Justice d’Auvergne, who added they can now `raise their voice` and be connected with an important discourse even while living in their adopted homelands.

Madam Justice d’Auvergne disclosed that two of the hot topics being debated on the island are possible term limits for the Prime Minister and whether the Head of State of Saint Lucia should be an agent of the Queen of England. `Should we have a Governor General or should we go the way of Dominica for instance, and have a ceremonial president?` asked Justice d’Auvergne.

She noted that despite the slow speed of the reform process, public participation was encouraging and the consultation process was moving along expeditiously.

The Saint Lucia Constitutional Reform Commission – an independent, non-political body responsible to the country’s Parliament – will meet with nationals on Thursday, September 17, 2009, at the United Nations Mission and Consulate General at 800 Second Avenue in Manhattan. The event will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In Washington on Friday, September 18, the meeting will be held at the Saint Lucia Embassy at 3216 New Mexico Avenue, NW., starting at 6:30 p.m. 

Leading the discussions will be Saint Lucia-based Commissioners Eldon Mathurin and Lawrence Poyotte.