Gambia’s Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) Chair Cherno Sulayman Jallow Thursday announced that the commission will embark on a massive nationwide stakeholders consultation process. The move is geared towards allowing Gambians from various walks of life to take part in the Constitution building process.
“The CRC expects to commence engaging the Gambian public from October this year. This process will include liaising with all stakeholders, namely the various civic, professional, religious, youth and other interest-focused associations and groups, including political parties, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary as well as the general public,” Justice Jallow told reporters during a presser held at their Secretariat headquartered at Futurelec Building in Kotu, some 8 km away from Banjul.
President Adama Barrow appointed in June this year an eleven-member panel tasked with the responsibility of drafting a new Constitution as the country is emerging from two-decade long dictatorship. The new Constitution is expected to promote democracy and rule of law, but also to resist the test of time.
CRC Chairperson reiterated the commitment of panel members to ensuring that the constitutional review process is guided by a high level of participation, inclusiveness, independence and transparency that will promote citizenship and ownership of the new of the process initiated by the Constitutional review panel.
Gambia’s longtime ruler manipulated the Constitution to the extent of eroding trust and confidence in the country’s laws. Expectations are high that the tiny West African nation will never experience again enforced disappearances, random, arbitrary arrests, unfounded accusations targeting political opponents.
Justice Jallow further stated that the consultations will also include Diaspora Gambians. He then added that their participation is far ahead compared to the inputs received from various sections of our society.
He revealed that plans are in high gear for a CRC team to travel to Europe and Northern America to engage Gambians in the Constitution building process.
Meanwhile, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has already thrown its weight behind Gambia gov’t in its efforts to draft a new Constitution. The US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI), Qatar are also making big push for Gambia to achieve what many observers have described as an ‘ambitious project.’