CRC briefs media in first press conference

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Gambia’s Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) that was established by an Act in 2017 to draft and guide the process of promulgating a new Constitution for The Gambia and for connected matters Tuesday held its first press conference with journalists at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.

The Commission’s chairperson Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow said the functions of the Commission is to draft a new Constitution for the Republic of The Gambia and to prepare a report in relation to the draft Constitution in accordance with Section 6 of the Constitutional Review Commission Act of 2017.

Mr. Jallow explained that in discharging its functions, the CRC is to be guided by the principles outlined in the CRC Act, noting that the constitutional review process will be an inclusive one designed to ensure that every Gambian and any other person who can bring value to the constitution-making process has the opportunity to do so.

“The Commission is tasked with the responsibility to draft a new constitution and also to review the 1997 constitution,” he said.

He seeks the opinion of all the Gambian citizens at home and abroad through consultations in order to make appropriate proposals and draft within a period of eighteen months after which a new Constitution will stand the test of time.

According to him, the Commission has engaged in a wide range of issues related to logistics such as the establishment of the secretariat, development of a work plan, mapping out a communication strategy, developing modalities for public consultations with various stakeholders, developing a monitoring and evaluation strategy as well as other relevant aspects that will enrich the process to make it inclusive for all layers of Gambian society.

He reveled that the Commission is in the process of setting-up a permanent secretariat which they expect to be speeded-up as soon as suitable premises are identified, adding that additional staff will be recruited to support work of the Commission. “So far, the Commission has held nine sittings, coupled with the development of key strategic documents which should guide the constitutional review process.”

 Mr. Jallow further stated that financial resources will be one of the biggest challenges the Commission will have to grapple with in order to carry out interface consultations from October 2018-June 2019.

He appealed to Gambians to help them in meeting the targets and the will to create different avenues for Gambians to get involved in the process including through a Commission website they expect to establish in due course.

Author: Isatou Senghore-Njie