Jamaica: CRC decides to remove monarchy
KINGSTON – The co-Chair of the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC), Marlene Malahoo Forte, says the committee has arrived at consensus to recommend the abolition of the constitutional monarchy as the form of government while insisting that no one view dominates the decisions of the CRC.
“Decisions are made by consensus. Every issue to be discussed is discussed widely, taking into account views in the public domain, taking into account experience at the table and also where we would like to go,” she told a news conference, amid recent criticism of the composition of the CRC.
Malahoo Forte, who is also the Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, said it should be reminded that the CRC is not starting its work “from scratch” and that it is “actually building on the body of work previously done by the Constitutional Reform Committee and the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional and Electoral Reform”.
She said the CRC has been revising the recommendations that had emerged, “revising them to see what new perspectives need to be taken into account [and] what changes have taken place in the society to ensure we are up to date with the thinking”.
Malahoo Forte said the CRC, which has held five meetings to date, has arrived at consensus to recommend the abolition of the constitutional monarchy as the form of government and “once we have abolished the monarchy from the make-up of our form of Government, it will be replaced by the Office of President of the Republic of Jamaica”.
“The president of the Republic of Jamaica is to be a separate office from the head of government of Jamaica,” she told reporters, noting that the consensus is that it will be on the nomination of the prime minister, after consultation with the leader of the opposition, to be confirmed in the Parliament.
“It is our intention to legislate that the two Houses will sit together to make this determination on a special vote,” she said.
Malahoo Forte noted that the committee has arrived at the consensus that any country other than Jamaica will be considered a foreign country.
She said the CRC, which will play a key role in ensuring Jamaica’s smooth transition to a Republic, is of the view that the reform will take out of the Constitution any reference to the Commonwealth and any privilege to be attached to Jamaica’s relationship to the bloc will be done in ordinary legislation. (CMC)