Saturday, July 20, 2019

CRC Well Poised To Embark On External Public Consultations With Gambians In The Diaspora

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The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) announces that it is on track to carry out external public consultations with Gambians in the Diaspora.

“The CRC is well poised to embark on external public consultations to incorporate the views and aspirations of Gambians living outside of The Gambia,” according to the Chairperson of the Commission, Honourable Justice Cherno Jallow, QC.

Justice Jallow intimated that significant progress has been made in preparation for the consultations which will cover countries in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and United States of America. In Africa two counties will be covered, namely, Senegal (Dakar) and Mauritania (Nouakchott). Countries to be covered in Europe are the United Kingdom (London), Germany (Berlin), Sweden (Stockholm), France (Paris) and Spain (Barcelona). In the United States of America the cities to be visited are New York City, Washington DC, Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis and Charlotte. With regards the Middle East, Saudi Arabia (Jeddah) will be covered.

The calendar for the external consultations is expected to be published shortly and it should provide advance notice to Gambians in the Diaspora to enable them to make appropriate plans to engage the CRC.  More details on the dates and specific venues of the meetings will be announced soon.

As part of its mandate, the CRC had embarked on a series of in-country public consultations from November 5th 2018 to January 26th 2019 –spanning a period of over three months. The public consultations entailed direct interface with Gambian communities around the country to discuss issues related to constitutional reform and to establish public opinion on matters that Gambians wish to see included in the new Constitution.

The public consultations involved face to face dialogue with communities, Schools and individuals; in addition, face to face dialogue was held in Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) with women, youth and men and the CRC administered questionnaires in all the neighboring villages around the venues at which public consultations were held. The consultations covered 106 (one hundred and six) communities country-wide.

The Constitutional Review Commission, in its quest to be inclusive  and recognising the importance of the youth population as tomorrow’s leaders, has been engaging students through school consultations.  To date, thirty (30) schools throughout the seven administrative regions of The Gambia have been consulted and the level of participation and engagement has been extremely high and impressive.

These consultations would ensure that a new Gambian Constitution is designed and developed based in the principles of inclusiveness, participation and ownership.

It should be noted that the Commission is tasked with the responsibility to draft a new Constitution, and by so doing to review the 1997 Constitution, seek the opinions of all Gambian citizens at home and abroad through consultations, make appropriate proposals and draft within a period of eighteen months a new Constitution that will stand the test of time. The Commission will also prepare Report in relation to the draft Constitution which will include the processes adopted by the Commission in developing the new Constitution and the rationale for the provisions enshrined in the Constitution.

IEC Press Release

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