By Ndey Sowe
Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow, the Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), said as part of their mandate to seek the views of Gambians across the board, the CRC will begin external consultations on Sunday, April 29th 2019, in Dakar, Senegal
“The public consultations will continue on the 2nd May 2019 in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Another public consultation is planned to take place around the same time of 2nd April 2019 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,’’ he said. Commissioner Jallow said Gambian Embassies and High Commissions in these jurisdictions have been working tirelessly along with the able assistance of the Foreign Ministry, to facilitate the process.
The CRC Chairperson said external public consultations are expected to continue in June 2019 in Europe and North America, in select countries and states respectively where there is a concentration of Gambians.
“In Europe, the CRC expects to engage Gambians in the United Kingdom (London), Germany (Berlin), Sweden (Stockholm), France (Paris) and Spain Barcelona. In North America, the CRC will engage Gambian communities in New York City, Washington DC, Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis and Raleigh. We are fully aware that an exercise of this nature will cost money and indeed a serious and comprehensive Constitutional review process could never be cheap. The internal countrywide public consultations, cost a total of D13.4 Million. Details of the cost relative to the external public consultations, are a work in progress and we expect to be in position to provide an actual cost once these consultations are concluded,” Chairperson Jallow said.
Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow further added that the CRC will continue to be open, transparent and impartial, and will give opportunity to all strata of Gambian society at home and abroad, to contribute to the process.
According to him, the CRC will receive and review recommendations that will emanate from the consultation process which in turn will inform the conclusions that the CRC will arrive at.
‘‘The CRC Act 2017, empowers the Commission under Section 11, to establish technical committees, with each committee chaired by a Commissioner, to facilitate and assist with the work of the CRC. In line with that provision, five technical committees have been established, three of which have already been inaugurated and their members have subscribed to oath of confidentiality, in accordance with the terms of the act.”
In conclusion, he said the CRC will forever remain committed to its ideals of participation, transparency, inclusiveness and ownership. He solicits the support of all Gambians in ensuring that the process is guided by the principles of the Commission, and to ensure the drafting of a sound Constitution which he said, will reflect the collective values and aspirations of all Gambians.