Constitutional Review Committee reports to Parliament on proposed amendments to ConstitutionPosted: September 4, 2016
The Constitutional Review Committee (CRC), established by Parliament earlier this year to review the Bill for the proposed amendment of the Constitution, has handed in its report to the Office of the Speaker of Parliament this week.
The CRC was chaired by Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu, and members included the Leader of the Opposition Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau, representatives of all political parties (including former Prime Minister Sato Kilman representing PPP and Vice-Chairman of the CRC Johnny Koanapo representing VP), plus representatives of civil society organisations including the Vanuatu Christian Council, the Malvatumauri, the National Youth Council, the Vanuatu Council of Trade Unions, the Vanuatu Association of Non-Government Organisations, and the Vanuatu Society for Disabled People.
The CRC’s terms of reference was to review the Bill for the amendment of the Constitution and the Parliamentary Amendment to the Bill tabled at the special session of Parliament of the 9th June 2016, to provide the views of the organisations they represent on the proposed constitutional amendments.
Chairman Regenvanu said he was pleased that despite the many differing views expressed within the CRC’s meetings, the Committee’s final report was unanimously approved by all members.
Now the CRC report has been submitted, the report will be translated into English and French ready for tabling in Parliament. Meanwhile, an ad hoc committee of seven MPs will review the proposed Constitutional amendments and the CRC report before a special Parliament session can be called to approve the final amendments.
Any amendments to the Constitution that change the parliamentary system or the electoral system will then have to be approved by a national referendum before they can take effect.