The Gambian leader told eleven newly sworn-in members of the constitutional review commission that majority of Gambians want two term limit for presidency.
President Adama Barrow has on Monday sworn in an eleven-member constitutional review commission to make a new constitution that will protect the lives and dignities of the Gambian people.
The review which is expected to finish in two years time will usher in the third constitution Gambia will have since 1970.
“I hold the view, as some other Gambians do, that a two-term limit for all heads of state of the republic should be entrenched in the new constitution,” Barrow said.
Gambia had a new constitution in 1997 three years after the former dictator Yahya Jammeh came to power but the law books were later amended in large part, reportedly 52 times, by the former ruler to entrench himself.
Barrow said creating a new constitution is an important task, “considering the urgent desire to provide Gambians with the constitutional framework to enjoy their rights as citizens.”
The Gambian leader said the citizens have been “badly hurt,” because the bedrock of the country’s democracy had been “tampered with,” calling on the new members of the constitutional review commission to address these wrongs and come up with a constitution that will “stand the test of time”.
Barrow also called for an entrenchment of two-term limit for presidency in the new constitution.
“…As members of the Constitutional Review Commission, you have been carefully selected, trusted and assigned the responsibility of guiding the country to build a strong foundation for a Constitution that will stand the test of time,” Barrow added.
Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow, the chairman of the review commission, promised the processed towards the making of the new constitution will be consultative.
“While we may have our personal opinion on issues and various subject matters, it is not what we hold that really matter. At the end of the day, it is what the people think,” Jallow said.
“Our responsibility is to facilitate those discussions with the public to ensure their views are properly taken account of, the issues are properly rationalise and a proper constitutional document is prepared and presented to His Excellency at the end of this exercise.”
The Chief Justice Hassan Jallow called on the Review members to ensure the process is a “truly consultative one”.
“… [We] must ensure the product we have at the end of the day is truly a people’s constitution, reflecting their views and aspirations,” the chief justice said.
The 11 members are Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow; Hawa Mboge Ceesay Sabally; Janet Ramatoulie Sallah Njie; Fatoumata Jallow; Amie Joof Cole; Salimatou Touray; Gaye Sowe; Lamin Camara; Yankuba Dibba; Dr Melville O George; and Yankuba Manjang.