By Nelson Manneh/Makutu Manneh
The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), on Wednesday August 7th 2019, held their sixth press briefing at their main office in Kotu.
At the briefing, Commissioner Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow disclosed to the media that the CRC has set up five technical committees to facilitate and assist in their work.
“The CRC Act empowers it under Section 11 to establish technical committees, with each technical committee chaired by a Commissioner to facilitate our work. In line with this provision, five committees have been established, three of which were inaugurated in April and May this year,” Commissioner Jallow said.
He indicated that the three committees that were established in April include The Public Finance Management, Lands, Environment and Natural Resources, Media, Public Education and Communication committees.
‘‘On the 5th of August, the remaining two technical committees, namely the Technical Committee of Experts on Constitutional Law and the Technical Committee on Constitutional Drafting and Report Writing, were launched,” he said.
The Chairperson of the CRC said the role of the technical committees is to assist them identify Constitutional related issues from an expert perspective, and to make recommendations on what specific matters to capture in the new Constitution.
On external consultations, Commissioner Jallow said they have concluded all external public consultations with Gambians in the diaspora. “In Africa, the CRC meetings were held in Senegal and Mauritania. In Europe, meetings were held in the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, France and Spain and in the United States, the major cities in which the CRC held public consultation were New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis and Raleigh,” he said. He said the turnout and contributions during the public consultations were quite impressive and the external exercise went far enough in enabling Gambians abroad, to have a strong sense of belonging in the Constitutional review process.
Justice Jallow said as part of their work to seek the opinions of all Gambians both at home and abroad regarding the drafting of the new Constitution, the CRC considered it necessary to extend the deadline for the submission of position papers to the 15th of July, 2019.
“The mandate of the CRC requires it to consult with all Gambians and other stakeholders to seek their opinions on what they aspire to see included in the new Constitution of the Gambia,” he said.
Jallow said all opinions and other representations that the Commission received are considered in accordance with the guiding principles enshrined in the CRC Act 2017.