The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) has successfully held another public consultation in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott on Thursday 2nd May, 2019. The occasion mark the Commission’s final direct engagement with Gambians living in Senegal and Mauritanian. The commission held consultations with Gambians in Senegal on 28th May 2019. The meeting was aimed at eliciting the views and aspirations of Gambians in the constitutional review process.
The CRC was established by an Act of National Assembly to prepare a new constitution for the Republic of the Gambia. As mandated by the Act, the Commission has scheduled meetings with Gambians in the diaspora and so far, Gambians in Senegal, Mauritanian and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia have been consulted by the commission.
Hundreds of Gambians attended the consultation meeting at Tfeila Hotel in Nouakchott, most whom were youths, who were very passionate about the review process.
The CRC delegation to Senegal and Mauritanian comprised of the Vice Chairperson, Hawa K. Sisay – Sabally, Commissioner Gaye Sowe, Commissioner Janet Sallah – Njie, Commissioner Dr. Melville George and Commissioner Yankuba Mangjang.
‘The members of the Gambian association in Mauritania had, since last year, shown keen interest in making their views and aspirations regarding the new constitution known. They held a series of meetings and produced a document to that effect,’ the Gambian Ambassador in Mauritania, Mawdo C. Juwara said.
He added that the visit of the CRC delegation is timely as it availed them the opportunity to meaningfully contribute in deciding how the country is to be governed for betterment of all Gambians.
The Vice Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), Hawa K. Sisay – Sabally, expressed delight over the huge number of Gambians that attended the event and praised young people for their valuable participation.
She said the constitution is the supreme law of the country and that their job is to review the 1997 Constitution and prepare a new one that will reflect the ideas and opinions of all Gambians.
She said the commission’s vision is to create laws that Gambians will take ownership of. This, she noted, was the reason why they were soliciting the views of both Gambians at home and those in the diaspora.
The Vice Chair thanked the ambassador and Gambians association in Mauritania for making possible to hold such a well-attended and organized meeting.
‘We want a constitution that will be ours. For us and the future generation. We should all participate in the process, take ownership and protect it,’ she noted.
The President of the Gambian Association in Mauritania, Modou Lamin Kanteh, said the Gambian community in Mauritania prepared a position paper on the various constitutional issues and forwarded the document to their embassy for onward delivery to the commission. This position paper, he added, emanated from a two day-long internal consultation where majority of Gambians in Mauritania contributed to the review process.
‘It is our obligation, as citizens, to take part in the building of our constitution. We should have a say on how we should be governed and that is why we are delighted that we took part in the process,’ said President Kanteh.
He said the constitutional review process is inclusive and that the constitution should cater for every Gambian.
Nuha Jammeh, the President of the Gambian sub-Association in Nouadibou rural settlement, said participating in the review process of one’s constitution is a fundamental obligation. Jammeh, who travelled 460 kilometers to attend the consultation, said a country’s development is dependent on the nature of its constitution and provision made to protect its citizens.
Dawda Nasso, a youth leader in Mauritania and Mariama Manga, said the new constitution should cater for the needs of Gambians in the diaspora and they should fully participate in every development process of the country. And the diaspora should have a representative at the national assembly.
A similar meeting was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday 2nd May, 2019.