Iceland’s proposed new constitution to be debated in October

The Constitutional Council’s proposed new national constitution will be debated by the Icelandic parliament in October, it has been announced.

The proposed constitution will be put to Althingi as a dossier at the beginning of the month, according to a memorandum released by the President of Althingi, Asta Ragnheidur Johannesdottir yesterday.

The parliamentary president believes it would not be a good idea to debate the proposed constitution in the frenzied September meetings; as the fast pace of business would not allow for adequate discussion. The new parliamentary term officially starts on the 1st October; at which time unfinished business from the last year is put aside and parliament begins again afresh.

According to Visir.is, the Althingi Presidium (the parliamentary president’s committee) believes that the public should be consulted throughout the constitution’s progress through Althingi with advertisements in the media calling for public comments; as was done when the constitution was ammended in 1994-95.

The committee also recommends that relevant individuals be called to meetings; including political scientists and members of the Constitutional Council and its predecessor, the Constitutional Assembly. All Members of Althingi should also be free to express their opinions on record if they please.

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