Constitution Report Debate Resumes Today

THE House of Assembly will meet today to continue debate on the findings and recommendations contained in the report of the Constitution Reform Commission.

The debate started last week Tuesday. Those MPs have already spoken on the report were all united in keeping the political status quo, contrary to recommendations calling for a change in the country’s political structure.

Attorney David Cox, one of the 23 commissioners who undertook the task of compiling the report has objected to an attack on the commissioners by some parliamentarians during last Tuesday’s debate.

The harshest critic of the commissioners was Castries East parliamentarian and Infrastructure Minister Phillip J. Pierre who described them as being out of touch with the realities of Saint Lucia to have written certain things in the report.

The commissioners were authorized by parliament in a unanimous resolution dated 17 February, 2004 to examine the current Constitution of the country and to report in writing their opinions and recommendations for possible reform of the present Constitution.

The commissioners were required, through broad-based consultations with Saint Lucians at home and abroad, to review and reform the Constitution of Saint Lucia in order to encourage effective governance, to ensure that the institutions of the State remain strong and responsive and that the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all persons are respected.

The major objectives of the exercise were principally to promote a meaningful expansion and widening of democratic participation by citizens in government; address possible weaknesses in the constitutional framework which political practice had highlighted over the years; re-fashion the Constitution so that it better accorded with Saint Lucia’s changing social and political circumstances and promote better governance and greater equity in the constitutional framework generally.

The session will start at the usual time at 10:00 a.m.

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