President Barrow advocates term limit in the new constitution
The President of the Republic, Adama Barrow, has renewed calls for the enactment of a term limit for President in the Constitution of the Gambia.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the 11-member Constitutional Review Commission at the State House in Banjul, President Barrow said: ‘’as a citizen, 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’’.
Taking into account the dark and difficult past Gambians endured as a nation, the President said the event “marks another milestone in our effort to put the country on the path to peace, freedom and prosperity with a strong constitutional foundation”.
It could be recalled that amending the current 1997 Constitution was a cardinal campaign promise of President Barrow.
The President told the Commission members that the new legal document should protect the citizens against governments entrenching themselves and undermining the desire and will of the people. He said constitutional safeguards, like term limit, would allow leaders to focus on development, rather than consolidating power to abuse the rights of the citizens. According to the President, the Constitution should also create a conducive environment for all to enjoy their citizenship and realize their full potentials.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubacarr Tambadou, challenged the Commission to produce a Constitution that accurately reflects the aspirations of the Gambian people as well as stand the test of time.
Mr. Tambadou further dilated on the composition of the commission describing it is as much representative of the Gambian society: ‘’five of the 11 members are women, while youths and diaspora have all been represented in accordance with government’s empowerment policy.
Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow explained that the task the Commission is embarking on will set out a framework for Gambian citizens and residents and “how we relate with each other in peace and harmony.” The mandate of the new Commission, according to the Chief Justice, is to draft a new Constitution for the Third Republic based on due consultations with Gambians, both at home and abroad.
The Commission Chairperson Justice Cherno Jallow QC is currently a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Gambia. Previously, he had served as State Counsel, Assistant Legal Draftsman and Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Justice between 1988 and 1995.
He also served as Attorney General of the Government of the British Virgin Islands for seven and half years.