PD holds ‘proactive’ discussion with constitutional reform committee

The party is asking the government to present a law in parliament to establish the terms of reference of any constitutional convention

The PD said it had held a proactive meeting with the constitutional reform steering committee
The PD said it had held a proactive meeting with the constitutional reform steering committee

Democratic Party officials on Monday met with members of the steering committee for constitutional reform and presented it with a brief outlining the party’s position.

The PD was represented by deputy leader Timothy Alden, secretary general Martin Cauchi Inglott, PRO Marcus Lauri and MEP candidate Anthony Buttigieg.

In a statement, the party described discussions as “proactive”, adding that its “thoughts” on the reform could be summarised in five main points, starting with the establishment a constitutional convention for wide consultation among all entities and stakeholders, including ordinary citizens.

The party also said the a specialised and technical commission of local and foreign constitutional experts to assist in the final drafting of the reformed constitution should also be set up.

The PD said that since the President’s appeal for constitutional reform in 2014, both the government and the PN were happy to waste time, with the two parties only having met December 2018. It said that this should in no way lead to the formulation of half-baked measures.

Furthermore, the PD said it had presented the committee with a list of 12 issues it feels are critical and which should be addressed by the reform.  

In a letter to the President on the proposed reform, party leader Godfrey Farrugia stressed that the constitution belonged to the people and that as such, their informed consent was imperative.

“An adequate inter-active process of public consultation is paramount, if we are to have a healthy reformed constitution that serves a modern and mature democracy,” Farrugia wrote. “Ours is broken and needs to be fixed.”

Farrugia insisted that once the process commences, the drafting of a new constitution should be “left to experts in the field”, with due consideration being given to best practices both locally and abroad.

“In my opinion, not to have a deformed Constitution Reform, it should not be left to politicians, though their input is vital too,” concluded Farrugia. “I truly hope that it is not the plan. If it is, I foresee problems.”

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