Interim report recommends reduction of presidential powers

first_imgConstitutional reform– PM says to be implemented before next electionsThe interim report submitted to Cabinet by the Steering Committee on Constitutional Reform (SCCR) has recommended reduction in the powers assigned to the presidency, according to Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.Prime MinisterMoses NagamootooNagamootoo, who has responsibility for governance matters, told the media recently that the interim report looked at a number of issues including the need to reduce some of the powers allotted to the President, the need for more geographical representation in parliament, among others.He explained that the report contains a long list of areas that should be considered in the constitutional reform process but it will eventually come down to priorities.“The interim report is a good document but it goes into some areas that are very detailed in terms of what ought to be changed in the constitution, not what must be changed,” he explained.In disclosing some of the contents of the report, Nagamootoo said it contained, “what we said during the campaign, that we are going to tame some of the (presidential) powers, we are going to look also at the geographic system and whether you have enough representation in parliament in terms of geographic constituencies.”He added, “They have gone into some details on how to change the nature of our parliamentary democracy and how to balance the powers, with the power of the judiciary with that of the legislative.”While not identifying which specific areas should be targeted as a matter of priority, he said it is critical that changes to the constitution occur before General and Regional Elections 2020.“You want these constitutional reforms to be completed before another elections,” the Prime Minister stated.In a recent interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Nagamootoo posited that constitutional reform paves the way for a new consultative, democratic and inclusive political culture in Guyana.A six-member steering committee on constitutional reform was established by the Prime Minister in August 2015 with prominent attorney Nigel Hughes as the convener who had presented the interim report on January 2.The final report should have been presented at the end of March, however, as a result of the sudden death of one of the most experienced professionals on the subject, Haslyn Parris, the report has been deferred.Nonetheless, the Prime Minister advised that he was assured by Hughes that the report will be submitted shortly. “He will be able to deliver the final report on the recommendations on how to proceed with constitutional reform in Guyana.”When the final report is received, the Prime Minister said he will further advise on the next step.It is expected that a constitutional reform commission will come on stream and it is this committee which will effect the changes to the Constitution.Government promised that they will have consultations with civil society and the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) before making any constitutional reforms.last_img

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