Montserrat’s first premier sworn in

Reuben Theodore Meade was recently sworn in as the first premier of Montserrat as it adopted a new constitution, which the head of government acknowledged is not a perfect document.

Meade told a ceremony at the Cultural Center after he was sworn into office, “We must continue the work of improving the document over time. We must, however, not lose sight of the focus on development issues while at the same time honoring the provisions of the constitution.”

The new Opposition Leader Donaldson Romeo and his opposition colleague, former chief minister Dr. Lowell Lewis, have campaigned against the new constitution and have called for various changes to the document.

However, the island’s British Governor Adrian Davis said officials in London were not considering any amendments at this time.

Davis said Montserrat was ushering in a “modern constitution for a modern country” after the “culmination of a long process of work and negotiation.”

Meade told the ceremony that the process of revising the constitution started in l999 with the advent of the so-called White Paper on the Overseas Territories.

But he said in 2002, he and another official were given the task of commencing the process on behalf of the Legislative Council after the Chief Minister John A. Osbourne, intimated that this constitution must not be seen as partisan, “but must include us all in its development.”

Osborne died earlier this year and Meade traced the various levels of consultations involving Montserratians both here and abroad in shaping the new document.

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