PM reiterates Govt’s commitment to Republic status for Jamaica
Prime Minister Andrew Holness. (Photo: Karl McLarty)

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Andrew Holness has reiterated the Government’s commitment to the process of transitioning Jamaica from a Constitutional Monarchy to a Republic.

Addressing the newly formed Constitutional Reform Committee on Wednesday at the Office of the Prime Minister, Holness said the approach must be collaborative and guided by expert advice.

“In spite of the delay in formally establishing this constitutional reform committee, I am pleased we have all made progress. I would like to thank all of you gathered today for graciously accepting the Government’s invitation,” he said.

The committee, which comprises representatives from the Government, Parliamentary Opposition, relevant experts, and the wider society, has been appointed to ensure Jamaica’s smooth transition to a Republic.

Holness said the Government has taken the deliberate decision to build on work done by previous administrations, to move the country closer to the Republican status.

“We took the point of view that we should not seek to restart and ignore the work that has already been done. This is because significant work was done and so we consider this a building step. It makes the work easier, and I’m sure we will move faster as a result of taking into consideration and incorporating what has been done,” he added.

The work to be done by the committee will involve a thorough and comprehensive review of the 1962 Constitution, to include the 2011 Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms as well as recommendations for reform made through the various constitutional reform commissions and committees in the past.

Meanwhile, Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Marlene Malahoo Forte, emphasised that partisan interests will be put aside during the committee’s deliberations.

The minister welcomed the members and reminded them of their purpose and the work to be done.

“We have been entrusted with an enormous privilege to be part of the work before us. It has been a long road to this day,” she said.

The Constitutional Reform Committee comprises 14 individuals, including Co-Chairpersons, Minister Malahoo Forte and Ambassador Rocky Meade; Attorney General, Dr Derrick McKoy and Opposition Representatives, Anthony Hylton and Senator Donna Scott Mottley.

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