Alteration of the Constitution
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Constitutional Bills must be published in the Government Gazette not less than thirty days prior to being introduced into Parliament. This is a mandatory requirement and unless and until it has been complied with, a Constitutional Bill cannot be lawfully introduced into Parliament. The purpose of this requirement is to give members of the public an opportunity to study the provisions of the Bill so that they can make representations to members of Parliament, should they choose to do so. The original Lancaster House Independence Constitution divided constitutional amendment procedure into two distinct categories. In terms of the first of these, Constitutional Bills effecting alterations to certain specified provisions required the affirmative votes of all one hundred members of the then House of Assembly. The specified provisions were themselves divided into two groups. One group, set out in section 52 (4), was essentially comprised of certain sections in the Declaration of Rights. Amending, adding to or repealing these sections, otherwise than by a unanimous vote of the entire membership of the House of Assembly, was prohibited for 9 period of not less than 10 years after the coming into force of the Constitution. The second group, set out in section 52 (5), encompassed provisions relating to the structure of the House of Assembly and the Senate, as well as the qualifications for enrollment on the white voters roll. These provisions could not be altered otherwise than by a unanimous vote of all of the members of the House of Assembly for a period of not less than seven years after the coming into force of the Constitution.