88 percent of Gambians support the inclusion of presidential term limits in the new constitution, a nationwide survey by the International Republican Institute (IRI) has revealed.

Fifty-seven percent cited this as a main reason for turning out to vote in a potential referendum.

The survey was conducted in November and December 2019, after the release of the draft constitution.  

The study shows that most Gambians support the drafting of a new constitution and were satisfied with the Constitutional Review Commission’s (CRC) performance. 

According to the survey, 87 percent of Gambians agree that the country needs a new constitution, and 60 percent rated the performance of the CRC as either “very good” (42 percent) or “somewhat good” (18 percent). 

It also showed that most Gambians would vote in a constitutional referendum, but the lack of voter ID cards could hamper turnout.  

While the vast majority (74 percent) of Gambians intend to vote in the referendum, among the 13 percent who said they are unlikely to vote, a plurality (39 percent) cited a lack of a voter’s card as their primary reason for abstaining.  

“Gambians are looking forward to a new constitution that strengthens fundamental rights and freedoms,” said Greg Kearns, IRI Regional Director for Africa. 

“In order to meet the high threshold for voter turnout, it is critical that the government addresses barriers to voter participation before holding a referendum.” 

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