Draft Constitution to be presented in parliament in August
The Gambia’s Draft Constitution will be presented to the National Assembly in August after it has been officially published in the Gazette by the Justice Ministery sometime in May.
This was contained in a Media Advisory from the Office of The President of the republic of the Gambia on Thursday, 14th May 2020.
The draft constitution was formally presented to President Adama Barrow by the Constiturional Review Commisson (CRC) on 30th March 2020. However, no official communication was received by the public from the executive regarding the draft amid recent public outcry as to the motive behind executive silence on the draft.
It has been revealed that the draft constitution effectively condemned incumbent President Barrow not to run for the office of President beyond 2021 based on the two term presidential term limit provision in the draft constitution with regards to the start date of the two terms limit. Many believe that this was the reason for executive silence in the journey of the draft constitution from draft to refrerandum to accept or reject the draft constitution.
The cabinet has recently expressed concern about the dicscrimnation of president Barrow in the draft constitution and urged CRC to remove Section 5 of Schedule 3a from the draft which bars Barrow from contesting the presidency in 2026.
The Gambian Cabinet had encouraged the Constitutional Review Commission to remove the section from the draft which, if passed, will bar President Barrow from contesting elections after 2021.
According to Section 5 of Schedule 3a of the draft constitution, a person duly elected president of The Gambia prior to the effective date and serving in office as at the effective date of the new constitution, shall be the first president of the third republic and shall continue to hold the Office of President in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
What this means that when the constitution comes into effect before the 2021 election, incumbent President Adama Barrow can only contest the presidency in 2021 and not in any future presidential elections.
Accorsing to a recent Standard publication, although the cabinet endorses the two-term limit of the president, it expressed concern that President Barrow is unfairly targeted by the constitution.
“While the government fully endorses section 100 on the term of Office of the President, it is the government’s considered view that section 5 of Schedule 3 is retroactively discriminatory in its effect because it only affects and is intended to only affect the incumbent President,” cabinet observed in a paper seen by The Standard according the same report.