By: Landing Ceesay
The Secretary General and flagbearer of People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) Halifa Sallah has said that the draft constitution belongs to the Parliament not the Executive.
“The Draft Constitution cannot be said that it is a president’s constitution by the virtue of the fact that it is under the Constitutional Review Commission’s Act (CRC); and it is the parliament that enacted the act, even though it is brought by the executive. but if it was rejected by the parliament it wouldn’t have been a law.”
Sallah said it is the parliament that gave the mandate to the CRC to review the 1997 Constitution, review the values of the country, discuss with the populace and eventually prepare a draft constitution.
“The president could only covert the draft constitution submitted to him by the CRC to a bill and send it to the National Assembly. But he could not add anything to it, otherwise he will be tempering with the commission’s work.”
He said the constitution belongs to the parliament that’s why they (parliament) could not give it the three-quarter majority to pass the first stage to the second stage.
“There’s no bill that can ever become law without being brought before the National Assembly. The parliament have the final say on any bill before it will become a law including the draft constitution, that’s why they rejected it at the first stage.”
Sallah who doubles as the National Assembly Member for Sere Kunda said people must understand the various stages of law making.
“There are two institutions responsible for the introduction of a bill in the National Assembly, and without the parliament there will be no law and there will be no referendum.”
These remarks by Sallah came in an interview with Kerr Fatou meant to verify the claim by National People’s Party’s Seedy Njie that ‘the Draft Constitution is the property of the executive’. Njie made the claim on ‘The Brunch’, a midday Saturday show on Kerr Fatou, shortly after his return from the draft constitution talks in Abuja in Nigeria on the invitation of former president Jonathan.