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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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National dialogue on preserving the nation and safeguarding the resources of the state: The Draft Constitution and the threshold argument

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Dear Editor,

While following the national dialogue on preserving the nation and safeguarding the resources of the state albeit intermittently, I am compelled to provide a counter argument on the need to lower the threshold in the Draft Constitution. Some political actors including some members and staff of the IEC appear to suggest a re-think on the threshold to pass the Draft Constitution – but this is not a plausible proposition and my argument is this: In this country, the IEC declared many elections at over 60% win by political parties. If the winning side(s) singularly or jointly move from commitment (intent to do something) – to will (actually doing something positive – action), then the threshold in the Draft Constitution can be met because those that have been declared to have won elections at over 60%, will only need a minimum of 15% of voters on the opposite side of the political spectrum – to pass the Draft Constitution.

So the math is not impossible to achieve provided political actors campaign genuinely to garner sufficient votes for the Draft Constitution. I am convinced that the majority of the civil society organisations including activists, will campaign for a yes vote and similarly therefore, political actors from all sides should do the same – and usher in a third republic that the citizens urgently deserve.

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If we want to have strong institutions that will not be subjected to abuse by any or all of the three arms of the state, the threshold is the necessary and sufficient condition or bar to check the powers of any government. This should prevent any government from abusing the power that the people have delegated to them, and hoodwink people to willfully change certain clause(s). We need strong institutions and nothing less.

On this note, I join many Gambians to thank both the political players and the civil society organisations and activists for catalysing such a learning event and more importantly – we will begin to see some positive changes and outcomes henceforth.

Dr Sidi Sanyang

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West Coast Region

Re: Jawara accepts Sabally’s apology, withdraws D8M suit

Dear Editor,

Momodou Sabally is just one of Barrow’s victim. They squeezed him too tight and basically shut every door in his face just so that he can come begging like a mouse looking for breadcrumbs in an empty room. Well, it worked. Sabally wasn’t built to endure that kind of pressure like ANM Ousainu Darboe. Kemesseng Jammeh, Solo Sandeng, Lang Marong, Femi Peters and all the other UDP heroes who were able to endure such cruelty for nearly 30 years, until some of them died in the struggle. Sabally has the mouth but he simply does not have what it takes to fight very long. Sabally is just a victim, like so many other victims they squeezed against the wall.

Cherno Omar Ceesay

Keneba, Lower River Region

Re: Barrow says criticism must be genuine

Dear Editor,

Who determines a criticism to be ‘genuine’ or not? For one to demand a criticism from another to be genuine means one does not wish to be criticised in the first place because I can classify any criticism to be not genuine if I don’t like the criticism. Or, is the president implying that all of his criticisms against the opposition are genuine and constructive? Law-abiding leaders and democrats don’t seek so-called genuine or constructive criticism. They rather open the space to all divergent and dissenting opinions as stipulated by the constitution. His advisers should tell him to adhere to the rule of law and protect human rights. That’s all.

Madi Jobarteh

Kembujeh

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