With Bill passed, highly-anticipated constitutional reform process moves forward


The Constitutional Reform Commission Bill was passed in the National Assembly on Monday, paving the way for the highly-anticipated review of Guyana’s supreme laws to commence.

Lawmakers returned to the National Assembly on Monday following the annual Parliamentary recess. With the members gathered, a robust debate on the Bill was expected.

Before the Bill was read for a second time, however, members of the APNU+AFC opposition walked out of the House. They did so after Speaker Manzoor Nadir did not allow a motion for a clean voters’ list from Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton.

Deputy Speaker and Leader of the Liberty and Justice Party Lenox Shuman was the sole opposition parliamentarian who participated in the debate.

According to him, constitutional reform should be no “political football” since it involves supreme laws that govern all people in Guyana.

Deputy Speaker and Opposition Parliamentarian Lenox Shuman (Photo: DPI/ February 4, 2022)

Despite the absence of most of the Opposition lawmakers, the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall SC boasted that this Bill enjoys parliamentary consensus since it was agreed to by the nine members (five government parliamentarians and four opposition parliamentarians) who encompass the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Constitutional Reform.

Now that this Bill has been passed, Nandlall promised that the constitutional reform process will move forward with much alacrity.

“… (it) lays the foundation for us to take constitutional reform to the next level as we take our country to the next level,” Nandlall said as he wrapped up the debate on the Bill.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC

The Bill proposes the establishment of a 20-member Constitution Reform Commission, appointed by the President, to review the country’s supreme laws through countrywide public participation.

The Commission is expected to review the Constitution of Guyana, to provide for the current and future rights, duties, liabilities and obligations of the Guyanese people.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Gail Teixeira said that this process is much-needed, to allow Guyana’s laws to be more applicable to modern society.

Constitutional reform itself has been long discussed by political parties, but the incumbent administration has taken credit for initiating the reform process now.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.