Gambia to Enter Third-Republic with New Constitution

By Kebba Jeffang

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Aboubacarr Tambadou, had disclosed to the press that the country will rewrite the 1997 Constitution that will lead the Gambian nation into the third republic.

He said this came as consensus at a national conference on Justice and Human Rights held in May, 2017.

“There was general consensus by a cross-section of participants from Gambian religious, political, civil society and other communities, that the strategic objective of a return to sustainable democracy, would require the drafting of a new Constitution, rather than a review through amendments to the 1997 Constitution, which will be too numerous and may not address all issues comprehensively,” he said.

Minister Tambadou said that a new constitution which will usher in the 3rd Republic shall be adopted at the end of this exercise.

“The Ministry of Justice, in consultation with the office of the Chief Justice, has now finalized a draft concept note and terms of reference for this constitutional review process,” he said.

Ba Tambadou, as fondly called, said it is proposed that a Constitutional Review Commission be established with membership drawn from a cross-section of the Gambian political, religious, civil society, youth, women, professional and other communities.

“The CRC will be mandated to engage in consultation with the Gambian public, both in the country and outside. The CRC shall submit its report together with a new draft constitution based on its public consultations,” he said.

Tambadou said the Commission shall be for 18 months from the date it will be established and the entire exercise shall last for not more than 2 years.

“The draft constitution shall be put to a referendum for adoption by the people of The Gambia. The proposed new constitution of The Gambia shall be one that reflects faithfully and accurately, the views of all Gambians,” he said.

He said the Commission shall engage in very rigorous public information and outreach programs about its activities and functions, soon.