Govt announces tabling of constitutional reform legislation ahead of pressure group’s call

Last Updated on Tuesday, 4 July 2017, 18:56 by Denis Chabrol

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo

The Guyana government on Tuesday announced that constitutional reform legislation would be tabled in the National Assembly before Parliament goes into its two-month recess.

The announcement came one day before a group calling itself “Rise” plans to hold an event titled “Citizens Call for Constitutional Reform.”

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who is performing the duties of President, said Cabinet on Tuesday decided that the Constitutional Reform and Consultative Bill would be laid in the National Assembly before the Parliamentary recess in August.

“The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana remains committed to the process of constitutional reform and has been working steadily to put all the necessary mechanisms and framework in place,” government said in a statement.

The Coalition Government, through the Office of the Prime Minister, set up the Steering Committee on Constitutional Reform (SCCR) which submitted its report to Prime Minister Nagamootoo and the process of the drafting and review of the bill has been ongoing over the past months.

The Coalition Government views the laying of the Constitutional Reform and Consultative Bill in the National Assembly as a major advancement in the process towards Constitutional Reform,” the adminitration said.

Consultations were also held by a United Nations team earlier this year with a view to assisting with funding.

The 1980 constitution was reformed in 2001, but there are lingering concerns about the executive powers of the president and the absence of real constituency representation through the proportional representation system.