Fatty, a lady councilor in Naimina Dankunku District of Central River Region
has said that the new constitution should give rights to women to access and
“The new constitution should empower women both in decision making processes and for women to be in key government positions. Women should have enough share in the budget and the Women’s Bureau should have enough budget,” she said.
Mrs. Fatty was speaking at Dankanku as the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) members continued their ongoing public consultation tour in a bid to get the opinions of Gambians.
The CRC is tasked by the Constitutional Review Commission Act 2017 to review the 1997 Constitution and draft a new constitution and prepare a report about it.
She opined that local languages should be spoken at the National Assembly as majority of Gambians cannot speak English. She added that women councilors across the country should also be paid salaries.
One Sheriff Mbooge opined that single majority system should be maintained in the new constitution. “We want our NAMs to have a university degree and the president to have at least a master’s degree before contesting.”
He said all local languages should be spoken at the National Assembly to enable people understand the debate. Health Service Commission (HSC), Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Agriculture Services Commission (AGS) should be included in the new constitution, he further suggested.
Gambians in the Diaspora who have the required documentation, he added, should have the right to vote in our elections, suggesting that the new constitution should deter inmates from voting.
Kerewan Touray Meeting in CRR
At a well-attended meeting at Kerewan Touray village in the Naimina East District, Alh. Kebba Touray, the district chief suggested that death penalty should be removed, adding that murderers should only be sentenced to life imprisonment.
Alh. Saikou Touray said that the new constitution should deter the president from pardoning people that commit murder. “The 15 years requirement for naturalisations is too small. At least it should be 20 years and the applicants must be paying their alien permit during their stay in the country.”
“Marble system of voting should be maintained in the new constitution because paper balloting can be forged and there will be no transparency. “Any person born in The Gambia should be a Gambian,” Mod Mbaye said.
A similar meeting was also held at Pakaliba in the Jarra East District of the Lower River Region. The communities of the area were also engaged as to what they wanted in the new constitution. Discussions between the CRC members and the inhabitants centered on Citizenship, Presidency and Term Limit among host of others.