Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Have Gambians Forgotten So Soon?

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It was during this period in 2016 when Gambians had to confront an impasse threateningn the peaceful transfer of the office of President.  The situation was handled in a mature way and the office was eventually transferred in a peaceful manner.

Four years after the impasse the Gambia is grappling with the issue of constitutional reform aimed at creating a third Republic.

The Manifesto of the Independent Candidate promised that upon victory he will among other things “ establish a body Jurists and competent personalities to review the constitution with a view to cleansing it of all provisions which are inimical to democracy and the rule of law; review the Elections Act to remove provisions such as prohibitive deposits for Presidential, National Assembly, council and Mayoral elections which hinder citizens from exercising their right to be elected to elective positions.”

A body of jurists and competent persons had done their work and the executive brought the promulgation Bill to the National Assembly for consideration. Before the consideration stage constitutional technicality was relied on to put the Bill in a state of Coma.

An attempt was made to revive it but was blocked again by Speaker Sanneh of the National Assembly.

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The executive appears to be taking another route which is yet to be fully explained.

The Attorney General should hold a Press Conference to explain to the people what the executive aims to do. Does it aim to breathe life to the draft Constitution or take from its content what it supports and bring it as a new Bill to the National Assembly after the necessary publications? That is the question.

It was during this period in 2016 when Gambians had to confront an impasse threatening in the peaceful transfer of the office of President. The situation was handled in a mature way and the office was eventually transferred in a peaceful manner.

Four years after the impasse the Gambia is grappling with the issue of constitutional reform aimed at creating a third Republic.

The Manifesto of the Independent Candidate promised that upon victory he will among other things “ establish a body Jurists and competent personalities to review the constitution with a view to cleansing it of all provisions which are inimical to democracy and the rule of law; review the Elections Act to remove provisions such as prohibitive deposits for Presidential, National Assembly, council and Mayoral elections which hinder citizens from exercising their right to be elected to elective positions.”

A body of jurists and competent persons had done their work and the executive brought the promulgation Bill to the National Assembly for consideration. Before the consideration stage constitutional technicality was relied on to put the Bill in a state of Coma.

An attempt was made to revive it but was blocked again by Speaker Sanneh of the National Assembly.

The executive appears to be taking another route which is yet to be fully explained.

The Attorney General should hold a Press Conference to explain to the people what the executive aims to do . Does it aim to breathe life to the draft Constitution or take from its content what it supports and bring it as a new Bill to the National Assembly after the necessary publications? That is the question.

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Halifa Sallah Maintains “The Next Change Should be System Change”

By Yankuba Jallow Halifa Sallah, the Secretary General and presidential flag bearer of PDOIS said The Gambia needs a system...
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