Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Urgent constitutional change needed

Published:Monday | November 6, 2017 | 12:00 AM


The political noise over Dr Alexis' candidacy in the recently held by-election in St Mary brought to the fore, once again, the need to make changes to bring clarity to our Constitution.

Each election cycle, we go through the same thing about who is eligible to be elected to our Parliament.

Dr (Shane) Alexis, by our Constitution, is eligible to be so elected, but we still peddle misinformation on the gray area, giving rise to ambiguity.




Our lawmakers have failed the nation by not amending the constitution to make clear, once and for all, who are/should be eligible to be member of Parliament, prime minister, or hold certain offices in our country. Why wait for a court to decide who is eligible to fulfil all the requirements to be elected.

A discussion with the aim of amending the Constitution to make clear who should be an MP is most urgent. The same holds true of who can be a justice of the peace. We have outstanding "honourable men and women" citizens of our country (justice minister's appeal) who want to serve as a JP but cannot do so, because the court says a Jamaican with dual citizenship cannot serve as a JP.

This clearly makes no sense in today's Jamaica. As I see it, our lawmakers, except for Mr Fitz Jackson, clearly are not doing enough and are not held accountable, and frankly, don't know their duties as lawmakers. Who in our Parliament will introduce a bill to make the needed change to our Constitution? Our history will be kind to Mr Fitz Jackson.

Authnel S Reid