March 12, 2010
SVG passes bill to increase constituencies

A bill to increase the constituencies in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, from 15 to 17, was successfully passed in the House of Assembly on Thursday, March 4th.{{more}}

This amidst strong support from pro-government Unity Labour Party supporters and an even larger turn out by supporters of the Opposition New Democratic Party.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said, under the existing constitution, his administration has the power to change the number of electoral seats.

He, however noted, that the new piece of legislation was not intended to provide any advantage to the ruling Party in the next General Elections.

The Prime Minister said a similar argument was made by former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell, and former ministers of government, Jeremiah Scott and Allan Cruickshank, in 1986, when they sought to increase the number of seats from 13 to 15.

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace disagreed with the Prime Minister, noting that the circumstances of 1986 were different from what now exist.

He said when Sir James and his colleagues had increased the seats, the country was experiencing population growth, which is currently not the case.