By Nelson Manneh
The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) will today issue Gambians with a draft of a new constitution.
CRC was established through an Act of the National Assembly to review the 1997 Constitution and come up with a draft new Constitution that will meet the test of time.
Speaking to the press on Thursday, Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow the chairperson of the Commission confirmed that the new Constitution will be issued to Gambians today, Friday, 15thNovember 2019. He mentioned this at the training of journalists on how to report on the draft new constitution. The training was held at the Commission’s secretariat along the Bertil Harding Highway, Kotu.
“On Friday the 15th of November 2019, we will be releasing the first draft of the Constitution to the general public and we expect the citizens to look at the draft and constructively analyze it and make their comments,” Justice Jallow said.
Jallow said the drafting of the Constitution was not a secret process and that is why they embarked on public consultation to seek their opinions.
Justice Jallow said the CRC will continue to work with all media houses in the constitutional review process.
“We will be embarking on public consultation with regards to the draft constitution for a month,” he said.
Sainey M.K Marena the head of communications at the CRC said the training was meant to equip journalists with how to report constructively with regards to the draft constitution.
“Journalists are expected to educate the population and we want you to help us to spread the draft constitution,” he said.
Marena said he expects the citizens to take ownership of the document and critically analyse it.
Lawyer Lamin S. Camara a commissioner at the CRC said for the past sixteen months what they have been “cooking is now ready”.
“If the draft constitution is out, it needs to be disseminated for the public for them to analyse and make their contributions,” he said.
The senior lawyer said the way the message reaches the public is very important and therefore they expect Journalists to disseminate relevant information.
He urged the journalists to be factual in their reports and help Gambians to take ownership of the document.