Constitutional Reforms in Gambia Case Solution
Traditional Paradigm of a Liberal Democracy in Gambia
In Gambia, the traditional paradigm of a liberal democracy was eroded in recent decades by a dictatorship with overbearing powers over parliament. In contrast, in the modern constitution, most voters voted for a majority. Moreover, this system imposes the concept of plurality. It is not a complete system of a liberal democracy, as it is not a complete democracy.
The constitution of Gambia ensures the independence of the judiciary. Its branches include the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and the High courts(see appendix:1). The lower judicial level is the Magistrate Courts. The Constitutional Review Commission is mandated to take decisions by majority vote or consensus. The Act establishing the Commission stipulates that a quorum of six members must be present to decide. In addition, it is permitted to establish technical committees, which may include non-members. The constitutional review commission can operate for up to 18 months and can be extended by a further six-month period.
In addition to the Constitutional Review Commission’s Bill; the country’s political system must contain term limits for the president. Term limits are part of the Constitutional Review Commission’s Bill. In other words, the constitution must provide two five-year presidential terms. While term limits were included in the 1997 draft of the constitution, they were absent in the referendum held in 1996. In fact, Jammeh won the election with a majority of more than 40 percent of the vote.
The constitution reform will lead to a new constitution in the country. The new constitution must include term limits for the presidents. The Constitutional Review Commission has recommended the term limits to be included in the new constitution. Term limits were originally included in the 1997’s draft. Term limits did not appear in the 1996’s referendum, which allowed Jammeh to run for five years without limits. But these were later removed in the revised version.
Issues that led to the Reform Process in Gambia
A number of constitutional changes were implemented in the Gambia. One of these included the introduction of a presidential term limit, limitations on executive power, and greater political inclusion of marginalized groups. The draft also included a Bill of Rights chapter that was in line with the international human rights’ standards. This indicated that many Gambians had high hopes for the new constitution. However, the upcoming presidential election would have a dramatic impact on the future of the country.
The draft constitution was a welcomed change in the political system. A term limit for the president, an effective separation of powers, and a greater political inclusion of marginalized groups were among the changes. The Bill of Rights chapter complied with the international human rights standards. This draft was not adopted by the National Assembly, but the National Assembly was moving ahead with the new constitution. While the draft constitution was not widely supported in parliament, the national assembly was pleased with the results.
The Gambians have a variety of concerns about the new constitution. The most pressing concerns are the desire to end self-perpetuating rule, and the need to introduce an effective separation of powers. Additionally, the lack of transparency in the constitutional process has led towards several other problems. Moreover, the lack of transparency and accountability has weakened the political environment in the country. The newly drafted constitution has several shortcomings.
Recent Politics in Gambia
The country has been a political stalemate for decades. Since Jammeh’s ouster in 1994; the country has had few peaceful elections. Despite this, the government had repressed a strike action and stifled the independent press. Earlier, the country’s opposition had been mobilizing against the regime and the former president. During the Jammeh’s era; the government censored the media and repressed the opposition, but that has changed in the recent months. Moreover, the judiciary has improved, and international journalists are not allowed in the country.
After the election, President Barrow’s government took steps to reform the judiciary. Previously, the judiciary was heavily politicized. However, the government also appointed new judges, including a respected new Supreme Court head. Prison conditions remained terrible, with prisoners lacking adequate food, shelter and medical care. In February and March 2017, President Barrow pardoned 250 prisoners, and signed the UN treaty abolishing the death penalty. The National Assembly approved the new law in November.
The election was the first in Gambia since its independence in 1992. The country had a multi-party system with freely contested elections every five years. The former government of President Jawar, which has held most of the power since then, dominated the political scene for nearly 30 years. The elections in April 1992 were free and fair. It is now the responsibility of the new administration to make sure that the country will have a continued stability.
Following the election, the government of President Barrow announced that it had dissolved the previous government, and that the country had elected a new president. In July, the former president of the country’s ruling party, Yahya Jammeh, rejected the results of the election. He was then forced to go into exile. The results of the election were contested by the opposition. The BBC reported that the election result was disputed, but it was not rigged in any way.
Jammeh did not see the growing mass of discontent and anger in the country. He had fled to the US. The previous government had imposed a “no-repealing” law that criminalized homosexuality. The new government was forced to resign and subsequently arrested three high-ranking members of the NADD. This led to a nationwide protest in June. Even the President of the country’s opposition was caught between two of the two sides, resulting in a state of emergency.
The Gambian government has implemented a new constitution. However, there is an absence of a constitutional provision for dual party membership. The former president’s government also called for a comprehensive security sector reform. The abuses of the State Intelligence Services and the National Intelligence Agency led to a new constitution which prohibited such activities. The government has since replaced these agencies, but has not begun the wider vetting of security agencies………………………
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