U.S. says 2021 a referendum prospect for Gambia

Feb 24, 2021, 11:30 AM | Article By: Sanna Camara

The U.S. Secretary of State has extended message of congratulations to the people of The Gambia in marking 56th anniversary of nationhood with a note that 2021 is a year of prospect for referendum on draft Constitution and national elections.

The government of President Adama Barrow established a Constitutional Review Commission pursuant to Section 5 of the Constitutional Review Commission Act, 2017, tasked with reviewing the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia. They were to write a new Constitution, and prepare a report with regard to the new Constitution presented to President Adama Barrow.

However, the debate over the passing of draft in the Nation Assembly fell short of the required two-third majority of votes in order to make it to referendum. A strong opposition was mounted by pro-Barrow group of NAMs to stop it on its track, leaving the nation in shock.

Antony J. Blinken, the Secretary of State of the United States is expressing hope that 2021 will indeed offer prospect for a referendum on this important national transformative document.

“With the prospect this year of a referendum on a revised constitution and national elections to choose a president, Gambian citizens have the power to solidify the foundational principles of respect for fundamental human rights and dignity for all people, governance based on rule of law, and democratic institutions accountable to the people,” he said in a statement.

He said the United States stands “with our Gambian partners as you celebrate Independence Day.”

“The partnership between the United States and The Gambia is based on mutual respect, shared values, and interpersonal connections as we work together to promote effective democracy, regional stability, and economic growth and prosperity,” Mr Blinken said. 

He renews the commitment of the United States to strengthening partnership with The Gambia as the country strives to strengthen democratic principles and enhance economic growth and investment.