Gambia: Law Makers Begin Overseas Training On Constitutional Building Process

Members of the National Assembly Select Committee on Human Rights and Constitutional Matters, have started a weeklong intensive training on Constitutional Building process and the role of the National Assembly.

The training which is taking place in The Hague, commenced yesterday Monday August 19th 2019.

The training is said to be facilitated by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IIDEA) and is aimed at providing skills, knowledge and tools necessary for Deputies to participate in this process, through the means available to the Legislative arm of the Government.

Mariam Jack Denton, Speaker of the National Assembly, said the importance of the training cannot be over emphasized.

"The training is significant because those involved in shaping the Constitution require access to broad, multidisciplinary and practical knowledge of constitutional building processes and options. This workshop is designed to provide the basis for addressing these challenges through the sharing of comparative knowledge and expertise," she said.

The head of the IIDEA Sumit Bisarya, said the training on constitution-building program will enable Deputies to discuss the ongoing constitutional building process in the context of the Gambia's political transition and state building.

It could be noted that the National Assembly is mandated by the 1997 Constitution as the principal political stakeholder involved in the consideration, debate and approval of a referendum to the proposed changes for a new Constitution. In December 2017, the National Assembly passed the Constitutional Review Commission Act which was assented to by the President on 11 January 2018. Under this law, the CRC is mandated to draft a new Constitution and prepare an accompanying report. The CRC has since embarked on a broad public consultation and is expected to submit a draft Constitution before the end of 2019.

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