Justice minister vows to revive draft constitution, pledges referendum before elections
Gambia News: Justice minister vows to revive draft constitution, pledges referendum before elections
Amid mounting concerns over the failure of the draft constitution at the National Assembly, Justice Minister Dawda Jallow has announced plans to bring the efforts aimed at promulgating a new constitution back on track.
Speaking as a guest on the For The People By The People show, he disclosed:
“We are going to work through reviving the bill. We are getting a lot of support. We are mobilizing, but government is not going to lead that process. I don’t think government can lead the consensus building process we are trying to reach now. So the approach is this: We are going to have independent minded Gambians or non Gambians and these people can bring the stake holders together.
Remember this is not as simple as a simple government bill. It’s more complicated than that.This is a highly political document.This is a national constitution so you don’t expect me to treat it like an ordinary bill I took to the house.You need to wear the shoes I was wearing that day to know how it feels to mine a constitution”.
The minister admitted under pressure the draft constitution met its demise on the altar of political realities, even as he pledged to smooth over the wrinkles in future efforts.
“The document failed because there was no consensus around it. It’s a political process, we cannot divorce politics from this .A lot of politics goes on in parliament so we need to get them on board. We are still working it out, but we want to come up with a method. By the time that process concludes we believe that we would have got the minimum political support that if we take it to the house it will pass. So it’s not about me.
The time line we are working on, and we are pressed for time, we are working towards having this process completed if not before end of November, but somewhere around that. So if we are able to get everything done and we got a document we can gazette say end of November or December we can meet the three month gazette period at least by March .If we table it at National Assembly by March and if we are lucky it gets passed we can still have the referendum in time before the election. This is tight but possible”.