By Ramatoulie Jawo
Hon. Samba Jallow, the former minority leader and National Assembly member for Niamina Dankunku Constituency has said that he will again reject the draft constitution if it is brought back to the National Assembly in its current form.
You Might Also Like
“I rejected it for a reason, if they bring it back with the same reason, what do you expect me to do”? He said.
He stated that he was one of the members who vehemently opposed the draft constitution and that he had grounds for rejecting it. He said that most people believe that the issue is with the retroactive clause, but he asserted that this was not the case for him.
“I will refer you to that clause, and you go and check. I cannot vividly remember, but check for clauses 27,29 towards 30. If you look, you will see some clauses that say if Fafa works at a government institution and he has a problem with the management, he can be banned for life. He cannot work again. Then another one was the issue related to work. For example, you cannot do a part-time job when working in the government,” he said.
Hon. Jallow stated that Section 7 of the draft constitution stipulates that if the draft constitution is passed, even if there are any errors, they cannot be rectified through the courts.
He further stated that the 1997 Constitution is heavily protected, and it would be challenging to amend it.
“The 1997 constitution the way they protected it, to change it will be very difficult. Because even a dot or a comma if you are to change it in the 1997 constitution you must publish it for three months ten days before it comes to the National Assembly and when it comes to the National Assembly, 43 members must say yes to that.
“What I was thinking at the time as an experience National Assembly Member is that it was better to let the 116 Million to waste than passing it to put another one or two hundred million for IEC to go for referendum knowing the way it should be passed,” he explained.
Hon. Jallow explained that to pass the draft constitution, 70% of voters must vote yes, and at least 50% of the eligible voter population must turn out to vote.
“At that time, just look at our political division, just look at the National Assembly at the time. It was only the significant minority because they were more than us, we were only 14, and if that 14 said No it cannot go it’s a significant minority, but the 1997 constitution protected it.” Hon Jallow said.
Hon. Jallow expressed his belief that the draft constitution would not pass the referendum, even if it were passed by the National Assembly.