By Nelson Manneh
The Constitution Review Commission (CRC), on Monday June 10th 2019, engaged the Gambia Conference on Reform and Democracy (GAMCORD), on the current Constitutional reviewing process.
The close-door meeting which took place at a local hotel in Kololi brought Commissioners and some Gambians in the Diaspora to discuss issues regarding the reviewing of the 1997 Constitution. GAMCORD is a civil society group of Gambian professionals from diverse backgrounds, living outside the Gambia.
Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow the Chairperson of the CRC in his remarks, said they have been given the mandate to review the 1997 Constitution and write a new one, with a report. Justice Jallow said the report will explain some of the elements in the new Constitution. “From inception, we have engaged Gambians at home including all other stakeholders and institutions and also engaged the Diaspora,” he said.
Justice Jallow said as Commissioners, they recognize the importance of including all Gambians both at home and abroad, for their contributions towards the process. “We have created various platforms where people can make their comments, suggestions and contributions,” he noted. He commended the Diaspora for their participation and inclusiveness in the process.
Momodou Tangara the Minister of Foreign Affairs said the Diaspora continues to play an important role in the country’s development; that their engagement with the CRC is a vital one. He said the CRC is doing all they can to reach all Gambians both at home and abroad. “The most important thing here is that the CRC is trying to lay a foundation for the society,” he said.
Minister Tangara said the presence of members of the Diaspora shows their willingness to work in building a new Constitution that will aid in the building of strong institutions and democratic rule amongst others.
“Another welcoming move by Government is the announcement made by the Chairperson of the IEC that Gambians abroad will participate in upcoming elections not only to vote, but to be voted, and that they will have a representative in the National Assembly,” Tangara told members of the Diaspora present at the meeting.