Constitutional Reform is A Public Process – Minister Morgan

Jamaica’s transition from a constitutional monarchy to a republic will be a public process, assures Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Information, Hon. Robert Morgan.

Speaking during Wednesday’s (April 26) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Minister Morgan said that it is impossible to not have public engagement in a constitutional reform process.

“There is no interest in hiding anything from the people. The mere process of constitutional reform requires the public to make the decision, so the public is the one who is going to decide what we do,” he emphasised.

Mr. Morgan further noted that there are processes, “such as the drafting of Bills, that require discussion and dialogue with [the] Opposition and with others, and I know that there have been attempts to engage with the civil-society groups”.

Additionally, he explained that there has to be a referendum to make the ultimate determination, pointing out that this exercise cannot be done without public education, “and without advising people as to what it means to become a republic”.

Jamaica is currently at the “beginning stage” of the process, Mr. Morgan indicated, while explaining that, “we’re now at a stage where a wide cross-section of persons are at the table looking at the sticky legalistic issues to condense them and to mould them in a way that, when they do go out into the public, there’s a clear explanation to the public”.

The Minister’s comments coincided with Jamaica’s first public consultation on the road to becoming a republic, on Wednesday.

The engagement took place at the Montego Bay Civic Centre under the theme ‘Phase One of the Constitutional Reform Process’.

It was led by Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, and members of the recently named Constitutional Reform Committee.

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