Guyana’s Constitution will undergo a third reform process later this year, since it came into being in 1980.
“It is envisaged that some time this year that a Constitutional Reform Commission ought to be comprised-a broad-based commission so that this process should take place,” Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo told the National Assembly.
Responding to questions from the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) during the consideration of the 2016 budgetary estimates, he said the final report by the steering committee on constitutional reform is expected to be presented by June, 2016.
Reforms to the 1980 constitution were first proposed in 1996 but that process was essentially aborted to make way for the 1997 general and regional elections. A new commission was eventually established and the reforms approved in 2002.
The Prime Minister said after the final report has been submitted and considered, consultations would be held with the PPPC and other stakeholders to deal with the scope of the reform process. The interim report was submitted on December 31, 2015, but met the deadline by presenting to the Prime Minister but the committee requested an extension to complete extensive consultations, government has reported.
Aspects likely to be addressed in the upcoming round of constitutional reforms are expected to include sexual orientation, presidential powers and the electoral system.
In the run-up to the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections, the coalition of A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change (AFC) had promised that there would be constitutional reform.
Heading the steering committee on constitutional reform is Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Hughes. The other members are Prof. Harold Lutchman, Mr. Haslyn Parris, Mrs. Geeta Chandan-Edmund and Mr. Gino Persaud.
Mr. Gino Persaud.