The New Today


Monarchist league boosts Open University on Grenada constitution, but!

The Grenada Monarchist League brings a thrilling addition or boost to an ‘Open University on Grenada Constitution’, but this entity surfaces with tremendous ‘mysteries and questions’ about its existence.

What could be described as an ‘impromptu and reactive’ setup, the League is yet to be disclosed and explained to the Grenadian people for ‘acceptance and credibility’, although it is apparent that the powers-that-be and certain key public individuals are privy and influential to its formation and functioning.

The League is promoted on its website as ‘an independent, non-partisan, and self-funded voluntary organisation founded on 07 February 2024, which is dedicated to preserving, defending and advocating for Grenada’s constitutional monarchy, and is open to all Grenadians including those in the Diaspora’.

In advancing and defending the “Nutmeg Crown”, with the Grenadian monarchy as the form of government for Grenada and with the King of Grenada as the Head of Grenada, the League also presents some proposals for improvements on Grenada’s system of government and to strengthen the Monarchy and its Grenadian character, referring to the process as “reforms to the Monarchy” but without anticipating the requirements or showing the necessity for constitutional referendum and without making references to any of the many recommendations in the past for constitutional reforms.

The Grenada Monarchist League boasts of being assembled, or having sprang into action, during the celebrations of Grenada’s Golden Jubilee, in response to ‘the urgings of numerous public figures for the government to amend the constitution to remove references to His Majesty the King, from Grenada’s Oath of Allegiance’.

The League condemns the suggestions and reasons for this amendment to the Oath as ‘a serious mistake, nonsense and a change to its meaning’.

Constitutional Attorney-at-Law Dr. Francis Alexis forwards the proposal on 22 January 2024 with the Public Statement, “Constitution Reform For Grenada At Fifty”, and some colleagues including Arley Gill and Jerry Edwin support Alexis’ position.

Whatever the Parliamentary Opposition meant about the Proposal, the article “Must Alexis Cool Down On Grenada Oath Of Allegiance At Golden Jubilee (Day)?” raises concerns about the timing and manner and consequences for the change through the ‘power and will’ of the Parliament but without the ‘involvement and endorsement’ of the sovereign constituents.

The related article “The Context And Sense Of Pledging Allegiance To Grenada” then highlights the rationale and significance for the Oath of Allegiance and points to Alexis’ legal teaching that “Changing the Oath would not interfere with its purpose”, committing the oath-taker to loyalty, from his article “One nation, one future, one allegiance”.

Further to the mystery and question about its identity, having no names of leading or authoritative figures, is the mystery and question about the time for the forming of the Grenada Monarchist League on the 50th anniversary of Grenada’s Political Independence from the United Kingdom.

Why such an organisation was not conceived before, particularly at the time of Grenada’s historic constitutional referendum involving the 2016 Constitution of Grenada (Caribbean Court of Justice and Other Justice-Related Matters) (Amendment) Bill with the clause for the deletion of the words “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors” and substituting the word “Grenada”?

Why now there is this loud condemnation about the Issue; what makes now more favourable, and/or whose interest is being protected? Do the failure of the Government to constitutionally reset Grenada on the ceremony of its Golden Jubilee, and particularly with the disinclination of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to undertake constitutional reforms as priority, create the space and setting for actors and affairs as the League to strive a strike on Grenada’s aspirations for ‘real and practical’ nationhood?

The internet-circulated “Has Dickon Mitchell Soured Grenada’s 50th Independence Observance?” summarises the intrigues about developing an indigenous constitution, with references to various presentations for said.

There have been many speculations and anxieties about the ‘pop-up’ Special Joint Sitting of the Houses of Parliament on 06 February 2024, that Dr. Alexis’ proposal to alter Grenada’s constitutional Oath of Allegiance would be piloted and accommodated at this sitting, and which leads to the article “Grenadians Must Condemn Parliament Special Sitting For Golden Jubilee”.

Related:  How far must Grenada Monarchist league go about Oath of Allegiance?

Fortunately, Alexis Statement did not form part of the proceedings of the Special Joint Sitting; but instead, foremost on the Order Paper was the motion by the Prime Minister to ‘further endorse the sentiment of the motion of 11th December 1973 by the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom about the Grenada Termination of Association Order 1973 which took effect on 7th February 1974’.

The “Open letter to the Governor-General regarding the Motion of the Joint Sitting of the Houses of Parliament” by the Independent Caucus for Constitution Reform (ICCR) questions the relevance of the Motion and concludes, “This Resolution is without basis in fact or in Law”.

The jury has been out ever since about the ‘context and objective’ for Dickon Motion, as well as about the ‘reasonable definition and/or interpretation’ for the “sentiment” of the 11 December 1973 Motion; indeed, the people need to know Government’s policy.

Whilst there have been further speculations and vexations that the Prime Minister’s motion was a detour from the outstanding myriad of concerns about Grenada’s 1974 Independence Constitution, or that it was meant to dismiss the ‘persistent and progressing’ voices calling for documentary evidence about the Independence, for patriation of the Constitution, and for meaningful moves to Republicanism and for Reparations, there also now seems to be clear indications that the Motion was activated by the proponents of the League.

That is, according to its website; “The Grenada Monarchist League has already contacted the Office of the Prime Minister, and all 15 members of the House of Representatives, to urge against any changes to the oath which would remove references to His Majesty.

We encourage all Grenadians to do the same, by contacting the Prime Minister’s Office and their Member of Parliament”.

The previous article “Stage Set For Alexis To Revitalise Open University On Grenada Constitution” cheers the great attraction and attention which Alexis’ proposal for the Oath Change drew, and the different dynamics and dimensions which it generated, with the invoking of new debaters particularly the Grenada Monarchist League.

The robust stance of the League, with its posted article “Misinformation about our Head of State and Oath of Allegiance must stop” and its elaborate website of information, indeed reinforces the imperative need for ‘honest and plain’ public discourses on Grenada Constitution.

The Grenadian people, especially the naïve youthful population, must be enlightened about the background and origin of the Constitution with the ‘rationale and substance’ of the existing provisions including the Oaths; about the ‘substance and scope’ of nationhood with the status, role and domain of the Monarchy; about identifying and rectifying the ‘deficiencies and queries’ with deep understanding for the recommendations towards the altering and/or advancing of the Constitution within Democracy.

Neither Dr. Alexis nor any other, like Opposition Member of Parliament Attorney Peter David, has rebuffed the rebuke directed to them by the Grenada Monarchical League about the relation of His Majesty The King to Grenada; however, their comments should be forthcoming in due course.

The explosion of the League would equally force other pertinent interest-groups, including Human Rights activists for Same Sex Marriage, to pull out all the stops and to play all trump cards in the advancement of their causes for constitutional reforms; and thus, which Civil Society body will be capable for judging?

Whatever mystery there be about the Grenada Monarchist League and however inappropriate its stance and information presented, it indeed makes for an interesting Open University on Grenada Constitution; but it is imperative to ascertain whether or not the League is a friend or a foe to Grenada’s sovereignty!

J.K. Roberts