Plans to hold a referendum on the government’s constitutional modernisation plans this summer have been dumped, it was announced this morning.
In a shocking back flip, the referendum will now be voted on at the 2009 General Election – following constitutional negotiations with the United Kingdom.
Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts has just made the announcement at a press conference that will end at 11.
‘I am not happy with this change of plan, or that it has become necessary, but I am satisfied, as are my colleagues, that it is the best way forward,’ Mr. Tibbetts said.
He said a ‘hypocritical’ opposition United Democratic Party campaign of ‘disinformation, scaremongering and confusion’ had, to an extent, been successful.
The 20 May referendum vote will now be a straight up or down, or an approve or reject vote, following the production of a draft constitution after negotiations with the UK.
Fears of a low voter turn-out were one of the reasons Mr. Tibbetts highlighted as a reason for the sudden back flip.
Cabinet Minister Alden McLaughlin has previously argued strongly against holding a referendum vote on the same date as the general election, saying it would politicise the constitutional reform process.