By Omar Bah
The chairman of the Constitutional Review Commission, Cherno Jallow, said the Independent Electoral Commission has the capability to make or break The Gambia.
“Elections are so fundamental to us in terms of governance of this country that if not properly handled and if the appropriate systems and structures are not provided, it could lead to problems of disproportionate consequences,” Jallow said at CRC consultation with the IEC.
He said the CRC wants to ensure that they have the appropriate structures in place for anything that is related to IEC and elections be it presidential, parliamentarian or local government.
He said the CRC is determined to ensure that they come up with a new constitution that would assure national cohesion and compel the country forward.
“In so doing, it is important that we hold dialogue with the IEC on matters surrounding their work… Gambians have been expressing their opinions on matters that concern elections and what is important is the diversity of opinions of what should be in or out of the new constitution. As required under the CRC Act we are mandated to ensure that the new constitution reflects the views and aspirations of the Gambian people,” he asserted.
He said Gambians should recognise that the reviewing of the constitution is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “We need to seize the opportunity and do a job that future generations will reflect on and say our forefathers have done us well and that is indeed a huge task.”
The IEC chairman, Alieu Momarr Njai emphasised the need for Gambians abroad and those in prison to be accorded the right to vote in elections in the new constitution. He also reminded the visiting CRC team of the need for the country to move away from using marbles to ballot papers.
The CRC is tasked to prepare a report on the new constitution within two years.