#Editorial

GOOD MORNING MR. PRESIDENT: It’s time to adopt the new constitution

Mar 1, 2021, 11:12 AM

Mr President, efforts should be made to find a lasting solution towards adopting the new draft constitution which stipulates a two term limit which is the order of the day in the sub-region and the 51% requirement for a candidate to become president.

 The draft constitution contains both provisions but was rejected last September by the National Assembly. Time is ticking and we should fastrack things in the interest of the nation.

Stakeholders should put aside their personal and party interests and put the interest of the country first with the nation at heart.

Mr. President, the Abuja talks which  were held between some political leaders and former President of Nigeria, GoodLuck Jonathan last week did not bear fruits as expected and other talks are scheduled for early March in Banjul.

Last Friday, you also received Muhammed Ibn Chambas special representative of the U.N. secretary general for West Africa and Sahel region to discuss the deadlock of the draft constitution.

Mr. President, a national conference will be appropriate soonest to form a taskforce to trash out the problems with party leaders or their representatives, religious leaders, members of civil society, and the press to fast track the draft.

Dr. Chambas has said that stakeholders should be flexible in order to reach a solution.

The retroactivity of the President’s first term should not be the deadlock of the discussion.

Mr. President, the best bet for the nation is to assure the Gambian populace that if you are re-elected December 2021, you won’t stand again in the 2026 presidential elections.

Don’t listen to sycophants who want you to overstay because of their own interest. It is not good for your legacy and you should see the interest of the nation first. It should be recalled that the current 1997 Constitution has no term limit and a candidate can win with a simple majority vote to be elected which many people are against.

Mr. President, Since GPPA has awarded the contract for the election materials of three million US dollars to ESI, a Canadian firm, registration of voters should not be delayed any longer because Ramadan will be 13 April 2021, according to the calendars.

People are still optimistic to go for referendum for the new constitution and go to the polls 4th December 2021 for presidential elections.

Mr. President, your government should always give priorities to the health sector and security.

We thank President Macky Sall for having the foresight in assisting The Gambia and Guinea Bissau, who are his immediate neighbours, with 20,000 vaccines of COVID-19 – it demonstrates the solidarity and cordial relations we have with Senegal. We are related in blood and condemned to live together in peace and harmony.

There is a saying that: “Family is not blood. It is about one who is willing to hold your hand when you need it the most.”

Finally Mr. President, your government should put an end to the problem of drug shortages in hospitals. The scanning machines must always be operational.

Your government should through the recommendations of WHO get good vaccines from China and Russia through bilateral cooperation.

Health care givers and people with underlying health issues should be given priority to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Good day!

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