Lawmakers fault Gov’t over lack of commitment to bringing back Draft Consitution to life

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National Assembly member for Kiang West, Hon. Lamin Ceesay

By: Fatou Dahaba 

As faith in the draft Constitution continues to hang in the balance after it was rejected by lawmakers in 2020, some National Assembly members are making renewed calls for its reintroduction before the 2026 elections blaming the government for its lack of political commitment to bring the new laws back to life.

Speaking at the National Assembly chambers during the adjournment debate on Monday, the National Assembly member for Kiang West, Hon. Lamin Ceesay, and Hon. Suwaibu Touray NAM Wuli West both called on the government to look into the faith of the draft Consitution before the country heads to 2026 Presidential elections.

Hon. Ceesay

Hon. Ceesay said the draft would have been brought by if the government was committed to bringing it back to life. 

During the 2023 SONA, President Barrow indicated that as the constitution remains a priority, his government is determined to oversee crafting a new constitution for the Gambia and tasked the Ministry of Justice to resume work toward tabling the draft constitution before the parliament.

“The sector is working on the constitutional review process. Relevant legal and legislative considerations and our national interest l guide the process. For now, it is essential to determine the necessary legislative amendments to support the next phase of the review process.”

Kiang West NAM said, “When will we do the amendments? Are we ready to do that? We have not seen any commitments because the Ministry of Justice brought many bills before the national assembly except the draft constitution; we cannot trust that the constitution will come,” he argued.

The Hon. Member said even if they want to change a word from the draft, that will require 40 + 1 percent out of the 58 members.

Hon. Suwaibu Touray NAM Wuli West said if the government wants a constitutional review, there is a time frame for that, saying it is crucial to do it before the election year.

Hon. Suwaibu Touray NAM Wuli West

“If you do it one year or months before the election, it will not pass. It will be another waste of money, so the earlier it is better.”

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