In the May newsletter, we share with you four original Voices from the Field pieces and a number of updates on constitutional reform processes in different parts of the world.
Constitutional reforms in Chad formally enhance the decentralized system of governance, but strengthen the powers of the president. Despite calls for a referendum, the reforms were approved by parliament, whose mandate has been extended without fresh elections since June 2015. The island of Tobago is seeking constitutional reforms towards self-government. Despite political and popular support for the initiative, the process has been slow and overshadowed by urgent popular preoccupations.
For the first time in almost four decades, a South Korean president proposed extensive constitutional reforms. While parliament did not approve the reforms, the proposals are likely to trigger and influence future amendment initiatives. The rejection may also signal a token of maturity of Korean politics. The unprecedented change of government in Malaysia provides important opportunities to undertake much needed reforms regarding the judiciary, electoral administration and freedom of expression. Such progressive reforms would break the pattern of regressive amendments.
The remaining updates cover reform efforts from Cuba to Australia, and Mozambique to Poland. There are also new publications including a primer on the constitutional regulation of emergency powers and a graphic illustration on systems of government.