The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) yesterday ratified a new constitution that would see sweeping changes to the way the party is governed.
“The draft constitution was considered and passed earlier at a special convention of the party on July 28, 2018 and referred to the National General Council to consider amendments made at that convention and to submit it back to the National General Convention at its next meeting for ratification,” the party advised.
“Now ratified, the constitution will be forwarded to the National General Council at its next meeting in August with a report from the convention confirming its ratification.
“The new constitution will becomes effective in 12 months.”
The new constitution is expected to make the party more democratic and more flexible in the management and political operation of the various constituencies, and will open the PLP to be more inviting to young people and women by affording them guaranteed representation on all of the party’s standing committees and commissions.
Among those changes includes the modification in the selection and the appointment of the party’s stalwart councillor’s – which is the “highest and most prestigious honor that the party can bestow upon a member”.
Calls for the PLP to be “democratized” were made during the leadership race ahead of the last general election when Alfred Sears challenged former Prime Minister Perry Christie.
In the lead-up to the leadership vote, Sears accused the PLP of stacking the deck against him.
He said the appointment of more than 300 stalwart councilors days before the convention gave Christie an unfair advantage.
The party’s reformed constitution now stipulates that, “The National General Council shall not approve more than 100 new Stalwart Councillors in any given year.”
Additionally, it outlines several requirements a member must posses in order to become a stalwart, one of which ensures that that member has “no public issue which brought the party into disrepute.”