(Via Veritas) This is the most recent “final” draft approved by the GPA Party Principals and COPAC
This document replaces the Final Draft dated 25 January 2013 previously received from COPAC and circulated by Veritas on 27 January.
Veritas has had permission to distribute it
COPAC both stated and intended that the “final” draft dated 25th January which they sent to Veritas to distribute on the 27th of January would not be further altered; and it would be the draft presented to the entire Parliamentary Select Committee and then to Parliament for their information and then go unaltered to the Referendum.
The COPAC Co-chairs have, however, since then, had to ask the lead drafters to incorporate minor changes and also took on board a change arising from the presentation to the Parliamentary Select Committee. This second “final” draft incorporates these changes, which do not radically alter the substance of the final points of agreement reached by the Principals.
Again Veritas has been asked to distribute it and we have again been told it is the final draft, but obviously cannot guarantee this as a certainty.
This new COPAC draft and the COPAC report on the whole constitution-making process will be presented to Parliament this coming week. COPAC have said that Parliament can debate the report on the process, but that the draft is presented for information only and that amendments will not be made [in fact, nothing is specified on this in the GPA]. There is, however, always the possibility that there may be more minor alterations coming up after the Parliamentary presentation, although, as the Principals have reached agreement on all hitherto disputed issues, SADC has been told the constitution is ready for Referendum, and there is a time urgency, the Parliamentary Party Caucuses and Whips are unlikely to let substantive issues be opened up again. But remember COPAC referred to their 17th July 2012 draft as the Final Draft.