Cabinet approves drafting instructions for constitutional reform bill Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Cabinet has approved the issuance of drafting instructions for the preparation of a Bill containing the recommendations made by the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC).

The move is another step in the process to remove the British King as head of state and having the country become a republic.

“We’re now going to be preparing those instructions based on what will be implemented from the recommendations (of the CRC),” said Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Marlene Malahoo Forte, at a post-Cabinet press briefing on Wednesday.

The CRC’s report on phase one of the island’s transition to the Republic of Jamaica and other matters was tabled via a Ministry Paper in Parliament on Tuesday.

The report also contains the recommendations made by the committee regarding constitutional reform and how a new president of Jamaica should be selected.

Malahoo Forte said there is more work to be done to achieve the goals of ensuring that the British Monarch is removed as the head of state.

“We believe that we must go forward; it is the right thing to do. We are agreed that the monarchy should be abolished and a republican form of Government be established,” she indicated.

“I am keeping faith that quarrels will die down, that the wounds will heal, and that our leaders will find the maturity that is required,” the minister continued.

“I believe that we must lead and look beyond elections, and continue to hold the interest of the nation before us. I believe we cannot fail as others behind us have failed…,” declared Malahoo Forte.

The governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) have been at odds over how the constitutional reform process is being undertaken, as well as some of the recommendations being proposed.

Opposition Leader Mark Golding has been insisting that the issue of Jamaica’s final appellate court should be dealt with at present, and his representatives have withheld their signatures from the CRC report which was sent to Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Malahoo Forte said during her contribution to the Sectoral Debate, the nation will get some clear indication on the road towards Jamaica becoming a republic.

According to the minister, the CRC “will reconvene, if not as the full committee, but, certainly, for the drafting strategy and (for) the public engagement and communication sub-committee, to continue the work to get the Bill ready for tabling in Parliament.”

She said work will continue on the other areas of the constitutional reform process to arrive at consensus, because the framework of the constitution rests on consensus.

“I am keeping faith that we will find what it takes, because if we do not at this time, I don’t know when else it will happen,” Malahoo Forte stated.