‘Election dates should be included in new constitution’

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Momodou Foday Gumaneh, a native of Koina village in the Kantora District of the Upper River Region has suggested that election dates should be embedded in the new constitution to be drafted by the Constitutional Review Commission so as to avoid a date favoured by an incumbent.

“Presidential and National Assembly elections should all be on the same date and the day for the election should be fixed in the new constitution.”

Gumaneh was speaking at the last day of the ongoing public consultation tour by the Constitutional Review Commission at Koina village of URR. The public consultation tour is one of the ways in which the CRC is encouraging participation, inclusiveness, representation, transparency and national ownership of the constitutional reform process. Part of the mandate of the CRC is to consult with Gambians and other stakeholders to seek their opinions on what they aspire to be included in the new constitution.

“The country’s economic is not strong. Therefore, it’s of paramount significance that Gambian elections are held on the same day in order to cut cost. Again, the marble system of voting should be maintained and the Diaspora community and inmates should all have right to vote.”

He suggested that any National Assembly member who cross-carpets to other parties should lose his or her seat automatically, thus a by-election be conducted in that particular constituency. He opined that grade 12 should be the requirement for the National Assembly NAM while the presidency should be university degree.

He added that the new constitution should deter the president from doing businesses so that he concentrates on the development of the country.

Samba Gumaneh also suggested that the 15 years for naturalisation and the death penalty for murderers should be maintained in the new constitution, saying that spot counting should also be included in the new constitution and the marble system of voting to be maintained too.

“Chiefs and alkalolu should be voted because everyone has the right to be an alkalo and chief. He believed that electing them would help maintain peace within our communities. The election for chiefs and alkalolu should be conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission,” Almameh Camara said.

Mba Sainey Sanyang said the new constitution should empower women in key government positions, ranging from ministries to the National Assembly to enable them champion the cause of women. He also argued that any person who killed someone deliberately someone should also be killed.

Author: Momodou Jawo