Friday, April 16, 2021

What Blocked The Constitutional Building Process?

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The Gambian people should not lose sight of what blocked the Constitution Building Process. The Facts are clear. Three Quarters of all the members of the National Assembly had to support the second and third readings of the Constitution of the Republic of the Gambia 2020 (Promulgation) Bill 2020 before it could go for a referendum by relying on both Section 102 and Section 226 of the Constitution.

When it came to voting in support or rejection of the second reading, that is followed by the Committee stage, which offers opportunity to propose amendments, 31 voted in support and 23 against.

The minority votes prevented the attainment of the Three -quarter majority. Does this amount to a political crisis?

Certainly not, The Gambia spent 123 Million Dalasi to engage some of the best legal minds in the country to craft a Constitution. A minority vote deprived the country from having its first home crafted constitution promulgated by its first truly Independent Parliament and be adopted by a citizenry at a referendum, who are no longer afraid of their leaders; and someone wants to reduce it into a crisis.

Gambians should rethink and identify where the problem in constitution Building is. The minority should explain what there is to gain by derailing the Constitution Building Process. The 1970 Constitution was alive for twenty-four years and it is gone. The 1997 Constitution has been in existence for 23 years. What is wrong in having it replaced by a Constitution that could be subjected to scrutiny by a well-balanced parliament?

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Posterity is watching. Those who refuse to take ownership of their birthright would always be aliens in their own homeland who cannot be architects of anything worth bequeathing to their children. History will be the judge.

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