CRC Alerts Government Against ‘Contempt’ Of Its Mandate

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EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA: The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) of The Gambia has raised a flag over government’s attempt of ‘contempt’ of the commission mandate on the review of the death penalty.

Last week, the Government Spokesperson told the national broadcaster, GRTS that the Government intends to abolish the death penalty.

A statement issued by the CRC in reaction to this announcement states that the “indication was made on behalf of the Government and without regard to the mandate of the CRC.”

The commissions “interprets the indication made by the Spokesperson of the Government of The Gambia as an expression of opinion rather than a decision, or an intention for a decision to be made by the Government.”

The commission goes further to advise persons in positions of authority to refrain from making definitive statements that have the potential to confuse or unduly influence the general public or to undermine or preempt the outcome of the work of the CRC.   

According to the commission, it is clear from the 1997 constitution that the mandate for the execution of a sentence of death upon conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction is a constitutional one.

“Since the CRC’s mandate relates to the review of the 1997 Constitution, this necessarily includes a review of the provision relating to the application and/or imposition of the death penalty”, the release states.

Acting on its mandate to review the 1997 constitution and draft a new Constitution, the review commission says it is in public consultations as to whether there should be continuation or abolition of the death penalty.

“The CRC is currently consulting with the public on the subject seeking their opinions either way.”

The commission vows to continue the consultation with the public whose opinions, it says will be thoroughly and objectively reviewed to establish the aspirations of the Gambian people on the subject.

“This will, of course, take into account all applicable international instruments applicable to The Gambia.”

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