Former Nigerian president Good Luck Jonathan this evening returned to Banjul for the fourth round of talks on Gambia’s Draft Constitution rejected by parliament last year.
Jonathan who is the chief mediator of the constitutional talks is expected to dialogue with various stakeholders including political parties and civil society actors to reach an agreement on contentious issues in the draft, including the retroactive clause.
This is the third time the former Nigerian leader visited Banjul for the talks. This recent visit of his is preceded by a similar visit to Nigeria last month, by members of opposition parties and civil society in the Gambia, but no agreement was reached on the reactive clause.
The retroactive clause in the draft constitution counts the current term of the incumbent in the two 5-year-term mandate of the president, which President Barrow’s cabinet described as ‘discriminatory’ to him (Barrow). For that reason, parliamentarians loyal to him (president), although not voted under his party’s ticket, voted against the promulgation bill of the Draft Constitution in 2020.
After few months of mounting pressure nationally and internationally, the president through International IDEA initiated this talks to revive the draft constitution for promulgation, but t the retroactive clause remains the main bottleneck in the talks.