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Churches challenge citizens to get involved in constitutional reform


The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) has called for all people of faith and those of goodwill to become effectively engaged in the process of Constitution reform through public discussions and town hall meetings.

The JCC, in a statement issued Tuesday, April 18 and signed by its President, RC Archbishop Kenneth Richards of Kingston, reminded citizens they all have a vital role to play in Jamaica’s constitutional reform process.

“Your thoughts and ideas will guide the Constitutional Reform Committee in creating a Jamaican Constitution that ensures justice and equity for all,” the statement said.

It stated, “The issues that you may think ‘a nuh nutten’ in relationship to those that are the most heartfelt, must be presented so that they can be formulated by legal minds in the Constitution to safeguard the rights and duties of our people.”

The JCC noted that the Constitution contains sacred agreements which promote the rights and duties of the citizens of the nation.

A Constitution, the JCC highlighted, makes provisions that are basic for how a society will be organised so that there is a right balance that safeguards how its people will live “so that the freedom of one sector does not threaten the freedom of others”.

The release also noted that the Constitution sets the guideposts for how institutions are to perform, and individuals are to act in ways that are in the best interest of citizens, to develop and live a good life.

“For these and similar reasons, every citizen of our country, Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora, are obligated to actively participate in the process that must determine the best possible constitutional arrangement for Jamaica to be the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business,” the JCC declared.

The churches’ umbrella group welcomed the appointment of the members of the Constitutional Reform Committee and the process that is being advanced to review and prepare a constitution that will best contain provisions for the well-being of Jamaican citizens according to the principles of justice and equity.