By Bakary Ceesay
Cherno Sulayman Jallow, Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Commission, (CRC) told journalists yesterday that among several issues discussed during its consultative meeting with the executive arm of government, “there is general, broad range agreement to have two-term limits of five years for the President.”
After the opening remarks, the two groups were locked in closed-door consultative discussions that took hours in order to have their views captured for the new document.
“We discussed matters relating to the office of the President: what should be the qualification of the President, what can the President do or cannot do…for example, should the President engage in running of business, what sort of latitude should the President be allowed…,” Chairman Jallow said.
He explained that the exercise of consultation was meant to sound opinions of stakeholders and we record those opinions, along with wider country opinions and those outside the country.
“We have to recognize that in as much as we want ensure that we have a transparent presidency, within that, we must factor a presidency that takes into account broad range issues of governance. This is not just about Gambia today but also about the future. So it is important that we factor everything into account without necessarily creating an imbalance in the good governance structure,” he explained.
President Barrow has told members of the Constitutional Review Commission that Cabinet members, just like any other section of The Gambian society, are citizens and have opinions, too, on the nature of the future laws of the country.
He stated the remarks while emphasizing the importance of the ongoing institutional consultations being undertaken by the Constitutional Review Commission.
‘’I think it is very important that we consult as a country’’ President Barrow opined. ‘’Cabinet members are also citizens of this country with a big responsibility to run the affairs of the country. We are independent and will not interfere with your work, but we are citizens also and we have opinions, too’’.
The president expressed delight at the consultative work of the commission across the country, revealing that he has been keenly following its activities. He reiterated that it is vital that the final document is as inclusive, representational, and durable for several years as possible.
‘’Our main objective is to build a strong foundation for democracy for this country. And this document is very important as far as that is concerned’’, he stressed.