By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) had announced that their national pre-consultation visits will commence today, Wednesday 26 September 2018.
According to the Chairperson of the CRC, Justice Cherno Jallow, these visits are part of the activities outlined in the CRC Action Plan covering the period of June 2018 to November 2019.
The CRC is well poised to consult extensively with the citizenry through a participatory approach to ensure positive and meaningful engagement with Gambians during the actual face to face public consultation due to commence in October 2018 Justice Cherno Jallow, stated.
He intimated that the pre-consultation meetings will involve the Regional Governors, Mayor and Mayoress, the Chiefs and regional representatives of key stakeholders. The meetings with these leaders and key stakeholders would encourage mobilization and greater participation of the people and give them strong assurance that their opinions and contributions are crucial in the constitution-making process, Justice Jallow noted. The pre-consultation will also enable the CRC, in partnership with the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), to discuss issues relating to the constitutional review process, how Gambian communities can aid the process, outline the importance of civic education to the overall constitutional review process and thus ensure greater public understanding and appreciation of the issues that may become the subject of discussion during the public consultations.
Justice Jallow concluded by saying that the pre-consultation also aims to seek the concurrence and buy-in from the community leaders on the essence of the consultation process as well as solicit and develop support of all Gambians to ensure that the review process is guided by the principles of Participation, Inclusiveness, Representation, Transparency and National Ownership, the end product of which will be a Constitution which reflects the collective values, beliefs and aspirations of all Gambians.
The CRC Pre-Consultation Team will hold its first meeting in Kerewan, North Bank Region on Wednesday 26 September from where the team will proceed to Janjangbureh, Central River Region on Thursday 27 September. Basse, Upper River Region and Mansa Konko in Lower River Region will be covered on Friday 28 September. Meetings will be held in Brikama, West Coast Region on Saturday 29 September, while the meetings in the Banjul and Kanifing Municipalities will take place on 2 October 2018.