Op-ed on the rejection of the draft constitution
I broadly share the sentiments of disappointment and frustration that have been expressed by many Gambians following the rejection of the draft Constitution.
I will not venture into dwelling on the merits or otherwise of the draft. I would nonetheless not hesitate a second to opine that we would be politically naive to pretend or assume that we did not see this coming in light of the political dynamics that have been playing out since the assumption of power by Barrow.
Disappointing as the rejection of the draft constitution may therefore be for some of us, especially for the advent of a new post- Jammeh Democratic era, I never expected Barrow to support a draft that would have clipped his political ambitions, and all the more so, given that he is relying on the relics of Jammeh’s party to precisely attain that self- centred objective.
That said, I am of the view that the rejection of the draft is a clear indictment of the entire political class and elite in charge of steering what was supposed to be a transition process for its inconsistencies and hypocrisy for reneging on key reform commitments among other things.
In my view, we are on a learning curve and I have faith in the political maturity of the people of The Gambia to draw the appropriate lessons from this debacle with a view to ultimately hold accountable at the appropriate time those they consider as being responsible for this pause or setback in the process of democratic (re) construction both in the Executive and Legislature.
In addition, going forward, as Gambians, each and everyone of us may need to do some introspection to determine his/her part of responsibility in the current scheme of things so that we may avoid committing the same mistakes and preserving and solidifying the gains accruing from the removal of Jammeh.
About the Author
Alhaji Cherno Mamoudou Jallow is an international civil servant working with the United Nations. He is currently signed with the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).
In The Gambia, an unprecedented front of MPs close to current President Adama Barrow and former President Yahya Jammeh blocked the proposed new constitution.
The Gambian Parliament on Tuesday 22 September rejected the draft new constitution, presented as a way of restoring the rule of law in the country, after the departure into exile in 2017 of former President Yahya Jammeh. This new constitution was supposed to restore the fundamentals of democracy after 22 years of dictatorship and put The Gambia back on the rails for democracy.