Monday, November 28

Constitutional Reform Process Remains In Limbo

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By Binta Jaiteh


Amie Bensouda, a private legal practitioner, and politician has disclosed that the fundamental transitional reform process remains in limbo – the draft constitution which carries all the aspirations of the Gambian people and the implication of the current status quo.


Speaking during a dialogue centered on ‘’Building Strong Rule of Law Institutions’’ and the Book launch ‘’The Gambia in Transition Towards a New Constitutional Order’’ held at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center. 


She said the dialogue is expected to grapple with some key issues, saying The Gambia’s return to democracy after 22 years of authoritarian rule paraded by the swearing-in of President Adama Barrow was a moment with euphoria and undiluted hope in the hearts of verse majority of Gambian people. This is with the hope that we manage to make a reconciliation through decades of oppression and could craft a new part to growth and development with a more transparent and just framework.


According to her, the roadmap for transiting from an authoritarian regime to a democratic dispensation was crafted on dynamic at the time and accorded the opportunity to take stock to chart a way forward to a new constitution. “Then result of the stock taken shocked the world, as 22 years of the systematic assault on our governance framework from the management of resources revealed by the Janneh Commission which I was a privilege to serve, and the horrendous assault of human rights and constitutional freedom was exposed,” she stated and iterated that “we really need a new constitution!”


Alieu Jallow, a representative of the Attorney General said as professionals “we have met several times in sessions to share our thought on the draft constitution and we came to agree on some of the provisions. If we want to make headway we must look at our holistic points and for the interest of the nation and the government is committed and ensure to have a new constitution.”


He said the forum will find a solution to the Gambia’s constitutional interest because of the caliber of individuals that are identified for the dialogue.


“Mr Njundu Drammeh, Dr Baba Galeh Jallow former Editor-In-Chief of the Independent Newspaper, and Mr Salieu all have verse experiences in their respective areas of expertise all of which are relevant to our constitutional-making process and I have no doubt they will live up to expectations. As the Gambia sets an agenda on how to move forward effectively and comprehensively, it is worth reminding ourselves of how we can create a better and more tolerant society including establishing efficient reforming and maintaining political institutions in a bit to promote rule of law on good governance,” he added. 


Dr Satang Nabaneh, one of the editors, said part of their motivation is due to over 2 decades of brutal leadership and embarking on an ambitious transitional justice process which they also recognize that a new constitutional framework should be in a foundation that will be anchored on genuine democracy.