CRC external consultations start in Senegal

Friday, April 26, 2019

Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow, the chairman of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) has said that, as part of its mandate to seek the views of Gambians across the board, the CRC will begin its external consultations on Sunday, 29 April in Dakar Senegal.

“The public consultations will continue on 2 May 2019 in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Another public consultation process is planned to take place around the same time in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 2 May, 2019,” he said. “Our embassies and high commissions in these jurisdictions have been working tirelessly, along with the able assistants of our Foreign Ministry to facilitate the process,” he told journalists during a press conference.

The CRC Boss added that the external public consultations is expected to continue in June 2019 in Europe and North America in selected countries and states respectively where there is a concentration of Gambians. The CRC is mandated by the CRC Act of 2017 to draft a new constitution for the Republic of The Gambia and to prepare a report in relation to the drafting of the new constitution.

“In Europe, the CRC expects to engage Gambians in the United Kingdom (London), Germany (Berlin), Sweden (Stockholm), France (Paris) and in Barcelona, Spain. In North America, the CRC will engage Gambian communities in New York City, Washington DC, Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis and Raleigh.”

“We are fully aware that an exercise of this nature will cost money and indeed a serious and comprehensive constitutional review process could never be cheap. “The internal countrywide public consultation cost a total of D13.4 million. The details of the cost relative to the external public consultations are a work in progress and we expect to be in position to provide an actual cost once those consultations are concluded.”

The CRC, Justice Jallow added, is independent and does not represent any particular interest group. “The CRC will continue to be open, transparent and impartial and will give an opportunity to all strata of Gambian society at home and abroad to contribute to the process.”

According to him, the CRC will receive and review recommendations that will emanate from the consultation process which in turn will inform the conclusions that the CRC will arrive at.

The CRC Act, 2017, he went on, empowers the CRC under Section 11 to establish technical committees, with each technical committee chaired by a commissioner, to facilitate and assist with the work of the CRC. “In line with that provision, five (5) technical committees have been established, three 3 of which have already been inaugurated and their members have subscribed to oath of confidentiality in accordance with the terms of the Act.”

Author: Momodou Jawo