Wednesday, February 8

NYP proffers ways to bring back draft constitution

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The National Youth Parliament has joined campaign to looking for ways to bring back the draft constitution, which was rejected by the National Assembly last year.

The multi-million dalasi draft book has been lingering in balance as politicians differ in consensus over a retroactive law contained in the national document.

Former Nigerian president Dr Goodluck Jonathan who came in to the country on the request of President Adama Barrow in an effort to broker agreement among series of the nation’s political parties failed.

And the National Youth Parliament (NYP) at the weekend held a town hall dialogue which was meant to bring together National Assembly members and Civil Society Organizations to help look for meaningful ways to bring the draft constitution again.

But the event held in Kanifing was graced by only lawmakers – a move seen by many young Gambians as lack of interest shown by the country’s members of parliament in an effort to resuscitate the much-anticipated constitution which seeks to replace the Jammeh-era constitution. Fifteen were invited.

The four MPs honoured the event were Honorable Omar Ceesay of Niamina East constituency, Honorable Saikouba Jarju of Busumbala constituency, Honorable Saikou Marong of Latrikunda constituency and Honorable Touma Njie of Banjul North constituency.

Meanwhile, speaking at the event Omar Cham, president of the National Youth Parliament, told the meeting that: “this is a meeting that has been brought into being in order to create a platform between civil society organizations and National Assembly Members to see the way forward in giving the Gambian people the form of constitution that they deserved.”

MP Omar Ceesaysaid the only bottleneck holding the progress of the draft constitution is the retroactive clause.

“The fundamental thing that is failing this draft constitution is the retroactive clause. This, we have to say once and for all; and our discussion should centre on that. The engagement with political parties, with other stakeholders should basically focus on this. Those insisting we need to have this retroactive clause and those saying we need to have this retroactive clause; one party must compromise. If we have this compromised, take it from me we will have this passed [at the parliament],” he said.

Also, Honorable Saikou Marong, lawmaker for Latrikunda believed that the political difference in the country had to be addressed in order to make headway on the draft.

He said: “The Gambia as it stands we are much divided in politics. Let nobody hide that. If we don’t address that, we will never find a solution to what we are discussing. We have the Barrow Camp and the opposition Camp. I think in order to have a way forward for this thing; this issue of political line should be solved.”