The government this morning introduced the Constitutional Reform Commission bill which caters for the establishment of a Commission to review the country’s laws.
The Commission will be tasked with gathering information to submit to the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reform for its input before going to the House as amendments to the Constitution.
In presenting the Bill, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall said the country’s Constitutional landscape requires periodic review to ensure that as the society evolves and as the country transform, the constitution reflects that transformation.
The Attorney General said Constitutional reform has rightfully been a forefront issue for all parties, which underscores the need for the process to take place as a matter with full public participation.
“This work of constitutional reform is not only of national importance but it forms the platform promise of every single political party that contested the last elections, as I said by its very nature, it requires the full participation of the Parliament, it requires bi-partisanship if it is to succeed” the Attorney General said.
The Attorney General said the PPP government is aware that the issues concerning constitutional reform, particularly in relation to an inclusive governance model, management of elections, enhancing rights of Guyanese and ensuring constitutional language are simplified, have formed the basis for debates in the Guyanese society.
“I hope that the people of this country are looking on and are seeing that we have made a promise and we are in the process of delivering on that promise,” Mr. Nandlall said.
The Attorney General chided the opposition APNU+AFC for not taking the issue of constitutional reform seriously while it was in government. He however acknowledged that for there to be meaningful constitutional reform now there must be consensus, which means the participation and agreement of the Opposition to some extent.
“We cannot travel the other half without the other side and I want the people of Guyana to understand that. I hope that the empty benches to which I am speaking is not a forbearing of what is to come in relation to this process,” the Attorney General said.
The proposed bill received the support of Deputy Speaker Lenox Shuman who is an Opposition Member of Parliament for the Joinder party list. Shuman believes that constitutional reform is paramount and urges full participation of everyone to drive the process forward.