JAM | Jun 6, 2023

Malahoo Forte urges continuation of transition to republic beyond general elections

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

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Marlene Malahoo Forte, Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, addresses a post-Cabinet press briefing on Wednesday, April 6. (Photo: JIS)

Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Marlene Malahoo Forte said she hopes that the work to transition Jamaica to a republic will continue, regardless of the changes made to the Government after the upcoming general elections.

Malahoo Forte also appealed to both the Government and the Opposition to be committed to the process so that Jamaica can remove King Charles III as Head of State.

“As I have said privately to the Prime Minister, it is my hope that the work to reform the Constitution will continue with commitment from both sides, regardless of what happens after a general election. It’s too important a work to be pushed aside as has been done on many previous occasions.”

She continued: “And so hopefully, we will have a commitment from the leaders of both sides of the parliamentary eye about committing to the people of Jamaica that the goals to be pursued are so important that we will continue, regardless of the changes made after a general election.”

Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Marlene Malahoo Forte (centre), making her contribution to the 2022/23 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 7, 2022). Listening (from left) are Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton and Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams. (Photo: JIS)

The Minister was making her contributions to the 2023-2024 Sectoral Debates in Parliament today (June 6) when she made the appeal.

Additionally, she noted that a robust public education system is needed to facilitate the transition, as many Jamaicans are unaware of what the Constitution is and what it entails.

A Constitution is a legal document that sets out the fundamental principles by which a country is governed. It includes the fundamental rights of a society, functions to be carried out by Government ministers, and procedures for policy and legislative changes.

To transition to a republic, the registered voting members of the public must decide to approve changes made to the Constitution that would allow the transition to a republic.

“We cannot reasonably ask the people to approve changes without educating them on what is contained in the constitution, and this is a work that is set before us,” said the Minister.

As such, she said she will continue to speak about the process in her updates and educate Jamaicans on the complex changes to be made.


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