Tuesday, 17 January 2023 11:05

Holness revs up the republican train

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The Andrew Holness-led Government has indicated that it is going full speed ahead to transition Jamaica from a constitutional monarchy to a republic despite suggested encumbrance from the Mark Golding-led Opposition.

Recently, Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Marlene Malahoo Forte, advised that the naming of the Constitutional Reform Committee’s members has been delayed as a result of Golding’s position on some related matters.

The committee’s purpose is to provide expert guidance and oversight to the Government and people of Jamaica during the constitutional reform process, in order to implement recommendations on which consensus has been reached.

Malahoo Forte recently said in the House of Representatives that Prime Minster Andrew Holness has been unable to name the committee members because Golding has not indicated the representatives that have been selected from his side of the House to sit on the committee.

But speaking at the 25th anniversary of the East Central St James Education Fundraising dinner at Half Moon Conference Centre in Montego Bay on Saturday night, Holness indicated that the Government will not be deterred in moving to make the island a republic.

"The minister of legal and constitutional affairs is here with us, and we will transform Jamaica from a constitutional monarchy to a republic," stated Holness.

He said he never expected the transformation process to be easy.

"These things are never straightforward, and I never expected it to be a straight line. But whatever political foot works in that those who call for it, and now don't want it, and now are trying to obfuscate and confuse whatever foot works they may choose to engage in. We are walking a straight line to the objective.

“It is time that Jamaica becomes a republic. For us, the process is not simple, and we have known this from we started on this journey, and we are making sure that we check every box as we move deliberately in that regard," said Holness.

"So I'm saying to you, minister, please move ahead with speed and alacrity on this matter. Jamaica must become a republic."

Member of Parliament for St James East Central, Edmund Bartlett, launched his Early Childhood Development Centre for Innovation during Saturday night's fundraising dinner.