BREAKING: Gambian lawmakers reject Draft Constitution
Tuesdsy 22 September | GunjurOnline
Lawmakers in The Gambia National Assembly have rejected the 2020 Draft Constitution following a two day debate.
The Constitution Promulgation Bill 2020 needed the support of 42 lawmakers in order to proceed to the Third Reading paving way for the IEC to call a National referendum for the country to either ratify the new constitution or reject it.
The failure of the draft constitution to pass the Second Reading means that Gambians are denied the opportunity to vote in a referendum to usher in a new constitution billed by many as “progressive” and inline with aspirations of many for a more modern and progressive country based on sound democratic principles.
The rejection of the draft constitution means that Gambia continue to be governed under the 1997 constitution, largely seen by many as a constitution tailored to give power to the executive, instead of the legislature.
Earlier on Monday, the EU in The Gambia, UK High Conmisiison, Embassy of Germany and US Embassy issued a Joint Communique urging National Assembly Members to pass the Bill “...in order to consolidate the hard won democratic gains in recent years, it is vital to the credibility of the current transition to truly democratic, accountable government that the people of The Gambia themselves are given the opportunity to vote in a referendum on the new constitution.”
“The European Delegation, the United States Embassy, the British High Commission and the German Embassy urge members of the National Assembly to vote the draft Bill on the revised constitution to progress to the final stages of parliamentary scrutiny… In order to consolidate the hard won democratic gains in recent years, it is vital to the credibility of the current transition to truly democratic, accountable government that the people of The Gambia themselves are given the opportunity to vote in a referendum on the new constitution. Denying them that opportunity is to deny one of the most demanded objectives from the 2016 election …”.