Upholding the Constitution: 20A takes away President’s obligation – WMC
The 20th Amendment Bill, through Clause 3, takes away the obligation on the President to ensure that the Constitution is respected and upheld, the Women and Media Collective (WMC) said.
Issuing a statement on the 20th Amendment and issues in it concerning the duties of the President, the Collective added that the fact that the Leader of the country will not specifically commit to upholding the values enshrined in its Constitution is a serious cause for concern, as it poses a danger that provisions, such as fundamental rights, protecting the environment and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups that are meant to inform governance for the establishment of a just and free society, could be open to interpretation.
Clause 3 also removes the duty of the President to promote national reconciliation and integration. “In light of post-war rebuilding efforts and recent violent extremist movements, it is alarming that the country’s leadership should not be guided by notions of national reconciliation and integration in the best interests of all citizens,” the Collective observed.
Constitutional reform requires careful consideration through an inclusive and engaged process. “Those drafting the 20th Amendment have unfortunately failed to heed the process of having a series of public hearings across all Districts prior to making considered recommendations. The current draft 20th Amendment appears to have paid little heed to previous representations. Neither is a rigorous consultative review of its provisions envisaged. We therefore deplore the blatant disregard for honouring the principles of accountability and democracy in drafting a new Amendment to the Constitution,” they said. (RLJ)