BROOKLYN, NY– The Mia Mottley-led administration has announced a Republican Status Transition advisory committee (RSTAC) to help plan and manage the island’s transition from a monarchical to a republican system.
In making the announcement late Saturday, the Cabinet said that acting Cabinet Secretary, Highland Allman, will serve the committee.
Barbados has had two previous constitutional review commissions in 1977 and 1994, headed by Sir Mencea Cox and Sir Henry Forde.
Guided by this, the new RSTAC will be required to discuss rights, responsibilities, and aspirations and specifically include the youth and the diaspora.
In a statement, the Cabinet said that the public would be allowed to send their ideas to the Committee over the next few weeks and attend its public meetings.
According to the statement, the terms of reference for the RSTAC will review the previous work done on the subject, including the Report of the Constitution Review Commission,1998, and the draft Constitution Bill, 2004.
It will also advise on the necessary reform measures necessary to achieve this status, recognizing that the Committee’s work is to play a fundamental role in developing the roadmap for the Nation’s future generations in claiming their destiny.
The Committee will recommend the constitutional requirements necessary to effect the change and to guide the type of Presidency, the powers and tenure of the President, and to determine the ceremonial and legal implications of the Presidential status; indicate the impact the Presidential group will have on the Public Service and produce a report which is expected to have short, medium and long term, perspectives and which identifies the policies which underpin its work.
In addition, the report will also emphasize the primacy of identity consciousness of Barbadians, identifying the salient national characteristics and encouraging their positive and constructive display and so seek to enhance national consciousness or the ‘Soul of the Nation.’
The Cabinet said that the committee would also address the matter of individual freedoms reinforce the values of religious, spiritual, and racial tolerance and related values such as respect and dignity; reflect the rights, obligations, ambitions, and expectations of the people of Barbados; examine the benefit and possibilities of Barbados’ becoming a multi-lingual country since some of its neighbors speak languages other than English.
The RSTAC will, in preparation of the plan, liaise with other Committees who are working or who have been working on related areas and engage citizens and organizations of Barbados, the Barbadian diaspora, and the youth on the matter; to review our honors system;
The Cabinet said the Committee’s medium-term would be submitted by June 30th and a Final Report at the end of September.
The statement said that the schedule of the Committee’s public engagements would be submitted to the public shortly. “Given the extensive discussions which have already taken place under the aegis of other Commissions, it is expected that the process will allow for celebrations as promised in the Governor General’s last throne speech.”