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GAMBIA: COALITION OF PROGRESSIVE GAMBIANS COMMITED TO ENSURE 2020 DRAFT CONSTITUTION IS BACK BEFORE END OF YEAR

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Following the announcement by the President Adama Barrow at the beginning of this year to bring back the 2020 Draft constitution, we, the Coalition of Progressive Gambians, have recently engaged the Ministry of Justice on the same concern and emphasized the urgent demand for government to bring back the 2020 Draft Constitution in its original form. This implies that the entrenched clauses provided in the constitution must not be amended or changed in anyway. It must be noted that these entrenched clauses provide for the realization of the independent function of the institutions that qualify good governance and those entrusted with the responsibilities of executing the functions of those institutions as defined by law. The institutions as the Independent Electoral Commission, The Auditor General’s office, The National Human Rights Commission, The Anti-Corruption Commission, the Public Service Commission,the Inspector General of Police, the Presidential term limit to name a few, the personnel appointed to execute the functions of those institutions based on competence, recommendations and approval of a credible Public Service Commission and National Assembly, are of great concern to all progressive Gambians.This enhances very good and credible practices towards the attainment of credible and very good governance.

The CoPG has been actively pursuing this demand for the past years to present and is committed to do everything possible to ensure that this specific demand which is among their nine point demands presented to government in 2022 is met. If we are to go by what the President Adama Barrow promised in the beginning of this year then it’s time to realize the necessary preparatory steps needed for a referendum to take place this year. If not we’re convinced that the President’s promise is a calculated comfort to fool and trick Gambians and in the interest of his political ambitions. The President and his government need to come to the realization that the demand by Gambians for an overhaul of the previous political system is the reason for his election to office and the spending of millions for the Draft Constitution. Therefore failure to adopt a new system through the 2020 Draft Constitution could signal an end to his rule as was with the former government.

The Coalition of Progressive Gambians seize this opportunity to inform the government that it is prepared to engage in all necessary activities and measures and under legal means to ensure the 2020 Draft Constitution is read and passed for a referendum.
The office of the IGP must not allow to be fiddled with an outdated Public Order Act, a scarecrow, and be used against its own people.
Moreover, the office needs to be reminded that intimidation, suppression and violation of the rights of people will never go unaccounted and unpunished.
We therefore announce that come November if the 2020 Draft Constitution is not brought back and a referendum scheduled, we, the CoPG will mobilize Gambians on a nationwide protest with or without permit and will not engage in any dialogue to postpone or cancel the protest.

The Coalition of Progressive Gambians also wish to call on all progressive Gambians, Political parties, civil society organizations and pressure groups, the teacher’s union, student’s union, driver’s union and all other unions to join in solidarity with us in our effort to get the 2020 Draft Constitution in place for a credible good governance and for posterity.
For the Coalition of Progressive Gambians;

Secretary General,

Celestine Kujabi.

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