By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), on Tuesday October 16th 2018, began a four-day training for staff and members of the media. The induction which is taking place at a local Hotel in Bijilo, is meant to familiarize participants with the constituent documents of the CRC, and the methodology for the implementation of the Commission’s tasks.
Established by the Constitutional Review Commission Act of 2017, the CRC will review and analyze the 1997 Constitution, draft a new Constitution for the Republic of The Gambia, and prepare a report in relation to the review and drafting process of the new Constitution.
The Commission’s report will outline the processes engaged in reviewing and drafting the new Constitution, and provide the rationale for the provisions contained in the new Constitution.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Secretary of the CRC Omar Ousman Jobe, welcomed participants to the maiden capacity building for staff, who already took their oath of office; that the training will introduce and avail the newly recruited staff the core mandate of the CRC, its action plan and other relevant strategic documents that the Committee has prepared.
The training is facilitated by the Commissioners of the CRC and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
The Chairperson of the CRC Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow (QC), welcomed the new staff to the CRC noting that it is paramount that new staff and journalists understand the mandate and work of the CRC. “It is important that we ensure that the particular goal of drafting the new Constitution for The Gambia and its accompanying report, is done properly, effectively, efficiently and in a timely manner,” he said; that the value of the CRC staff is to ensure that they execute its mandate and enjoined them to be committed to duty and serve with due diligence. “The Constitutional Review process is designed to be fair, transparent and as objective as possible.”
He said the process is a ‘national endeavor’, designed to ensure that the Constitution will stand the test of time; that the CRC is committed to fairness and impartiality in the process and will ensure that the document reflect the needs and aspirations of the Gambian people.
Chairperson Jallow noted that the Constitution making process will include the inputs of all Gambians both at home and at abroad. “We have a collective responsibility to ensure that whatever we do, is transparent, fair and objective. The credibility of the CRC depends on the credibility of each and every one of us,” he advised.
During the course of the induction, participants are expected to be introduced to the CRC’s strategic documents and other thematic issues relevant to the development of the new Constitution.
Participants at the training expressed delight to be part of the process and resolved their unflinching commitment to relentlessly serve the CRC, and highlighted their expectations from the training.