Don Anderson, pollster and head of Market Research Limited
By Lorraine Mendez
As the country prepares to possibly remove the British monarch as head of state and transition to a republic, a majority of Jamaicans are indicating that they would want to have a say in how a ceremonial or executive president is selected.
The Constitutional Reform Committee has been meeting to decide on the proposed changes to the Constitution for Jamaica to transition to a republic.
In the latest RJRGLEANER Don Anderson polls, 70 per cent of respondents indicated that, should the country decide on a ceremonial president, that figurehead should be chosen by the Prime Minister in consultation with the people.
Five per cent said the decision should be made by the Prime Minister in consultation with the head of the judiciary, while six per cent believed the choice should be made in consultation with the Opposition Leader.
According to pollster and head of Market Research Limited Don Anderson, seven per cent said the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader must agree on who should be president.
Another 13 per cent of respondents did not care.
Mr. Anderson said the survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,010 people across the island. Only persons 18 years and older and who were registered to vote were interviewed.
Field work was conducted from August 30 to September 14, with a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent.
Barbados, the most recent CARICOM country to remove the British monarch as head of state, has a ceremonial president who is elected by two-thirds majority of Parliament, if there is no joint nomination.
Direct vote for president
In the meantime, the majority of Jamaicans are leaning towards being able to vote directly for the head of state, should the country decide on transitioning to a parliamentary republic with an executive president.
According to the latest RJRGLEANER Don Anderson polls, 79 per cent of those polled believe the executive president should be chosen by direct vote. This is compared to nine per cent who believe the president should be selected from among the members of Parliament of the winning party.
Twelve per cent of respondents said they were unsure or it didn't matter how the executive president was selected.
As released in the Gleaner today, 36 per cent of Jamaicans polled said they would prefer an executive president only, while 31 per cent indicated that they would want the country to have both an executive and ceremonial head of state. Another 33 per cent said they were not sure or it did not matter.
Guyana has an executive president elected by popular vote.