Constitutional Review Commission, CRC, has announced it will submit its final new draft Constitution to the president not later than March.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, CRC chairperson Cherno Sulayman Jallow said the Commission is in the process of finalising its review of all the submissions received as well as the preparation of the final Draft Constitution and the accompanying Report on the processes adopted by the Commission, which will be submitted to the President in accordance with the CRC Act, 2017.
“The Commission is working hard to finalise its assignment and, all things being equal, it hopes to finalise the Draft Constitution and the accompanying Report to formally submit to His Excellency the President of the Republic no later than March 2020,” said Justice Jallow.
He said the effects of the draft constitution since its publication have been “overwhelming and very invigorating”.
“We want to ensure that each submission is carefully and fully considered as we near the end of our assignment,” he said.
“On our part as the CRC, we are grateful for the overwhelming support and encouragement that we continue to receive from all Gambians, both at home and abroad, as well as our national and international partners.”
The chairperson noted that “constitutional development in any country, the final product will never satisfy every view and opinion canvassed. Constitutional development is effectively a negotiation process of give-and-take. It can never address all issues.
“In our case here in The Gambia, we had put in place a very robust, transparent, inclusive and participatory public consultation process whereby every citizen and other stakeholders had the opportunity to make a contribution. This has not only enriched our constitutional review process; it has also helpfully guided us in framing the Draft Constitution in a manner and in the depth that we feel truly and honestly represents the generality of public opinion,” he added.
He went on to state that Commission has given credence to public opinion, and that an “overwhelming number” of citizens, during their second round of public consultations, had expressed satisfaction with the initially drafted Constitution.
He said the Commission remains independent, and does not represent any particular interest group.
“The constitutional review process continues to be guided by the principles of participation, inclusiveness, representation, transparency and national ownership to ensure that the final draft Constitution reflects the collective values, beliefs and aspirations of all Gambians,” Justice Jallow remarked.