By Omar Bah
The Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Commission, Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow, has said that considering the short window of eighteen months within which they are to deliver on their mandate, “it is crucial that the Commission’s work is not hampered by unnecessary bureaucratic processes and procedures which have the potential to slow down the progress of their work.”
This, he said is recognised by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, who he said is also working to ensure the objective of financial independence and a better facilitation of the work of the commission.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, Jallow said the Commission will receive and review recommendations that will emanate from the consultations process which in turn will inform the conclusions that the Commission will arrive at.
He said the CRC will proactively engage media organisations by providing them information to facilitate accurate and timely coverage of the process and to add value to the public outreach programmes.
Justice Jallow said the commission will seek the opinions of all Gambian citizens at home and abroad through consultation, make appropriate proposals and draft within a period of eighteen months a new constitution that would stand the test of time.
The expected outcomes of the commission’s work, Justice Jallow added, are to draft a constitution to be presented to the president; and 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.
He said although the National Assembly has approved D4M for the commission, finance remains as one of the biggest challenges and they will have to grapple with it in order to carry out interface consultations.
Jallow added that in pursuant to the CRC Act, 2017, the funds of the commission are to consist of monies appropriated to the commission by the National Assembly and donations received from any lawful source approved by the Minister of Justice.
He reassured his team’s commitment to ensure transparency and accountability in the process towards drafting a new constitution for The Gambia.
“The Constitutional Review Process will be open, transparent and impartial and will give an opportunity to all strata of Gambian society at home and abroad to contribute to the process,” he assured.
The commission, he said, is independent and does not represent any particular interest group.
“All the members of the Commission recognise that the objective we have embarked upon is a national one and it is one in which all interests have to be received and considered in accordance with the guiding principles enshrined in the CRC Act, 2017,” he stated.