The Deputy Youth Presidential Adviser Saihou Mballow says the rejected draft constitution is dead and have been buried and that no one can re-table the 2020 constitution again in Parliament for consideration, Freedom Newspaper can report. Mballow, who was speaking during Freedom Radio Gambia’s prime time Leral show says only another new constitution can be re-tabled for consideration. Mballow has dismissed claims that have been attributed to the Justice Minister Dawda Jallow, who was quoted as saying that efforts are underway to constitute an independent panel to salvage to the rejected constitution.
“The draft constitution is dead. It has been buried. No one can bring that draft constitution to Parliament again for another voting. Per our laws, once a draft constitution is voted out, no one can table it again in Parliament. I don’t think these people have quoted the Justice Minister properly. That bill is dead, take it from me, no one can salvage that draft. I know what I am telling you. You can quote me as saying that the bill is dead,” Mballow remarked.
The Justice Minister recently appeared before an online forum, where he was quoted as saying that efforts are underway to constitute a panel that would look into the rejected draft constitution.
According to Mballow, the rejected draft constitution was a tailored UDP constitution. He added that the draft had favored the UDP felon leader compared to President Adama Barrow.
“The rejected draft constitution favored Ousainou Darboe than President Barrow. Under the 1997 constitution, Darboe is unqualified to run as a President. There is a provision in that constitution that bares Darboe from running for public office. But under the new constitution, Darboe is qualified to run. The drafters came up with a provision which says pardoned felons like Darboe cannot be disqualified to run as Presidential candidates. That provision was created to favor Darboe,” Mballow said.
Darboe was sentenced in 2016 after been found guilty of organizing a protest march without obtaining a permit. He was pardoned by President Barrow, following the change of government.
“Now that the draft constitution has been rejected, Darboe is unqualified to run in 2021. If he insists on running, any political party can file an objection to his candidacy. This country is a nation of laws. The 1997 constitution bars him from running,” Mballow added.
Darboe told his supporters in a recent press conference that there is nothing that can prevent him from contesting in the upcoming elections. He says only death, infamy of mine, or his party not selecting him can prevent him from running.
Mballow also said the rejected draft constitution also had a provision which would deny kids born in The Gambian citizenship. He added that the proposed new law also had a provision which would legalize gay marriage in the country. He also said religious secularity hasn’t been guaranteed under the proposed new law. He added that the draft had marginalized our Christian brothers and sisters.