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Saturday, 26 June 2010

Asking right questions of the NCC Consultation

Civil Society Organisations have written to the NCC  commenting on the consultation process and seeking clarifications on the next steps. Issue 5 and 6 are particularly important :

5. Another issue of that requires clarification from the NCC is the manner in which differences between what the NCC is recommending and what the people and institutions who comment on the draft constitution and reports will be resolved. For instance, the NCC, in their draft constitution has proposed a minimum degree qualification for a prospective presidential candidate; assuming that the majority of the people and institutions (more than the numbers at the NCC) canvass for removal of this article- how will NCC handle this development? It is important that the process of reviewing and integrating the proposals from the public is made clear from the onset so that this does not turn out into an academic exercise where people take time to read the document and suggest changes and yet the NCC and Government remains adamant on what they would like to see in the final document.

6. Given the stage that this process has reached and some of the issues raised in the draft constitution, it is necessary for Government to present a full roadmap as to what will happen after 31 August 2010. There should be a sense of forward planning on the part of Government and thus ensure that this process does not stall after August 2010 but reaches its logical conclusion. Government, for instance, should consider appointing a Referendum Commission who should start working out modalities for a referendum as soon as possible. Such a step, will be a sign that Government really means well and that a new constitution is a possibility before the next elections.

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