people in Tallinding have suggested to the Constitutional Review Commission
(CRC) to consider bringing down presidential lower age limit to 25 years in the
draft new constitution, saying if citizens can vote for candidates at age 18
then they should be qualified to be voted for at the age of 25. “We need a
Gambia where every citizen will be given equal opportunity,” the young people
said at a consultation meeting last week.
The youth consultation was organised by Activist, The Gambia, National Youth Parliament and Peace Ambassadors. The Gambia with the funding from UNDP, meant for youth to come up with a posit paper to contribute to the drafting of the new Constitutions.
They also recommended for a minimum requirement of Bachelor’s degree for presidential aspirants, saying the country needs a president who will sign beneficial treaties on behalf of the people and not someone who will be signing ‘our’ death warrants.
They further suggested for the presidential upper age limit to be put at 65 years as well as a percentage voting system in presidential elections.
The consultation brought together 200 youth from political parties, student unions, Red Cross volunteers, football club representatives, women groups and ghettos who also called for the introduction of only elected members in the National Assembly. They said, the five nominated members empowered by the 1997 constitution to nominate by the president in the national assembly should be removed from the draft constitution.
Commenting on citizenship, they said anybody born in The Gambia should be regarded as citizen of the country.
They also called for an introduction of the American term limit system in the draft new constitution as well as declaration of assets by presidential aspirants before nomination.
The youth also suggested for age limit of youth minister and his permanent secretary to be 40 years.
The Tallinding youth further suggested for the introduction of a strict blueprint for youth and a minimum wage measured in line with the food basket. “We are also suggesting for the provision of police post at hospitals for emergency purpose to avoid death in case of serious accidents.”