Sun | Oct 1, 2023

Ceremonial president would be the best option

Published:Saturday | May 27, 2023 | 12:16 AM


I am writing this letter with reference to the article, ‘Consultations may delay tabling of republic status legislations’, published in The Gleaner on May 24. I absolutely concur with the general accord for “a ceremonial president for the republic”.

This is because if the head of state is a president of the republic, this would not be advantageous for the development of Jamaica.

Under a presidential system, the president may have the power to challenge legislation through veto, the power to pardon crimes, authority over foreign policy, authority to command the armed forces as commander-in-chief, and authority over advisers and employees of the executive (government) branch.

A ceremonial head (president) combines the ceremonial role of a monarch with the responsibilities of a prime minister the Constitution created, as executive with a symbolic as well as administrative duties. The joint committee is still working on how to change this.

Many European countries have a ceremonial head, and have stable forms of government. In addition, Canada, Belize, Guyana, and Suriname have ceremonial heads of state. It is also prevalent in central and southern West Africa and in Central Asia.

In India, Austria, Italy and Israel, the head of state is usually titled ‘president’, and the principal functions of such presidents are mainly ceremonial and symbolic, as opposed to presidents in a presidential systems or semi-presidential system.

The president of the United States delegates ceremonial roles to the vice-president (VP). The VP also vote in a tie-breaker in the Senate to pick a winner.

So, a ceremonial president is an excellent selection for head of the republic.