JIS News

KINGSTON — Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has urged the joint team set up to look at the issue of Jamaica’s final appellate court to pursue those discussions in earnest and with urgency.

He said that for more than 30 years, the country has been deliberating on these changes to its Constitution that are designed to “affirm the sovereignty of our people, consolidate our independence, strengthen the rights of our citizens and provide Constitutional safeguards for good governance."

“Next year, we will celebrate our 50th year of Independence. It would be a misfortune if we were to do so with this important unfinished business still in limbo. We would give added meaning and significance to those celebrations if we were to hold that referendum prior to August next year and have the new constitutional framework as part of that celebration,” Mr. Golding said.

The Prime Minister, who was making his contribution to the 2011/12 Budget debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 10, also proposed that the team consider the issue of the method of appointment of the head of state.

“We had already agreed that this appointment would be by way of a two-thirds majority of both Houses of Parliament. The disagreement arises from our position that it should be a two-thirds majority of each House while the Opposition insists that it should be a two-thirds majority of both Houses voting in joint session,” Mr. Golding stated.

He added that “we must be able to find a way to resolve that difference as well as the matter of our final appellate court so that next year we can celebrate more than just 50 years since 1962."