EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Gambia’s Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) that was created by President Adama Barrow in 2017, to draft and guide the process of promulgating a new Constitution for The Gambia and for connected matters will publish the first draft of the constitution tomorrow Friday.
The commission’s chairman, Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow today told journalists at a training on reporting on the draft constitution that they are now in position to publish the first draft tomorrow. “This is just a first draft and what we expect from people is to read and understand it,” Justice Jallow said.
He said constitutional review is an important process and in drafting it, internationally established best practices must be considered. “We have completed the first draft of the constitution. Whatever we do, we ensure that it is guided under the CRC Act.”
The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) was established as per the Constitutional Review Commission Act that was passed on 13 December 2017 by the National Assembly and assented to by the president on 13 January 2018.
In the execution of its function, the Commission is mandated to seek public opinion; review the 1997 Constitution; adhere to national values; safeguard and promote issues of sovereignty; separation of powers, national unity; introduction of term limits, and continuance of The Gambia as a secular state.
The CRC Act dictates that it shall be dissolved one calendar month after the date of enactment by the National Assembly of the Bill introducing the Constitution.
Justice Jallow told journalists that once the draft constitution is published tomorrow, it will be the subject of constructive analysis by the people, saying their process have been transparent from day one.
The commission’s head of communication, Sainey MK Marenah said the draft constitution is an important national document which any citizen has the right to add their opinion and suggestions to.
Facilitators of the training, Demba Kandeh and Bai Emil Touray encouraged journalists to keep their gates wide open for essential information to pass or else it will be overshadowed by unimportant information.
“In journalism, opinion are important but do not forget that facts.as journalists, it is your responsibility to correct that wrongs,” Demba Kandeh said.
Bai Emil Touray said the constitution protects the rights of every citizen, saying the state has a right to say that for people to contest for presidency, they must reach certain age and the people have the right to determine that.