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 Nams Protect Themselves
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Momodou



Denmark
8848 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2017 :  13:41:07  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nams Protect Themselves Against Their Vulnerability

Foroyaa Editorial: December 23, 2017

http://www.foroyaa.gm/archives/19986


The passing of a Bill by the National Assembly yesterday repealing section 91(1)(d) of the Constitution is significant. According to section 91(1)(d) of the Constitution

“A member of the National Assembly shall vacate his or of her seat in the National Assembly if he or she ceases to be a member of the political party of which he or she was a member at the time of his or her election.”

Many APRC members of the National Assembly lost their seats under the former regime through the application or misapplication of this provision. In short, the former President, Yahya Jammeh, was empowered by the APRC Constitution to expel a member of the party, and when an APRC member of the National Assembly was expelled from the APRC he or she lost his or her seat by the Clerk invoking section 91(1)(d). For this reason APRC NAMs feared that they would lose their seats if they did not support the then government in the National Assembly. They therefore became praise singers of that government and supported whatever the government brought to the National Assembly contrary to the requirements of section 112 of the Constitution which stipulates that,

“… all members shall regard themselves as servants of the people of The Gambia, desist from any conduct by which they seek improperly to enrich themselves or alienate themselves from the people, and shall discharge their duties and functions in the interest of the nation as a whole and in doing so shall be influenced by the dictates of conscience and the national interest.”

The repeal of section 91(1)(d) will pave the way for the NAMs to freely express themselves in accordance with section 113 of the Constitution which reads:

“There shall be freedom of speech and debate in the National Assembly and that freedom shall not be impeached or questioned in any court or place outside the National Assembly.”

The Bill will be sent to the President and upon his assent it shall become law. The President in his Election Manifest has said: “To strengthen parliamentary oversight under a coalition government, efforts shall be undertaken to amend Section 91 of the Constitution so that any member of parliament who is dismissed by a party would automatically be an Independent candidate.”

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone

Momodou



Denmark
8848 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2017 :  13:44:14  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nams Pass Bill To Strengthen Their Independence
Foroyaa: December 23, 2017

http://www.foroyaa.gm/archives/19975

Lawmakers of the fifth legislature of the Gambia yesterday, Thursday, 21 December, 2017 voted overwhelmingly to repeal the controversial Section 91 (1) (d) of the 1997 Constitution which rendered elected National Assembly members vulnerable to removal from office by their party leaders.

Hon. Samba Jallow, Minority Leader and National Assembly Member (NAM) for Niamina Dankunku, sponsored a private members bill which sought to amend Section 91 (1) (d) which states that member of the National Assembly shall vacate his or her seat in the National Assembly “if he or she ceases to be a member of the political party of which he or she was a member at the time of his or her election:

Provided that nothing on this paragraph shall apply on a merger of political partiesat the national level where such where such merger is authorized by the constitutions of the parties concerned.”

The Niamina Dankunku NAM wanted to amend section 91 (1) in paragraph (d) by substituting it to read “if he or she, by the notice under his or her hand to the Speaker, voluntarily joins another political party from the party which he or she was a member at the time of his or her election”

According to the reasons and objects advanced by Hon. Jallow, the mover of the motion, the Bill “is to grant independence to National Assembly members from their respective parties and political leaders, and to further enhance the freedom of speech and debate as enshrined under section 113 of the Constitution.

Some NAMs argued that what needs their urgent attention now is for the Assembly to give effect to Section 92 which empowers the people to recall their representatives before the end of their tenure if they fail to represent them effectively.

After a lengthy and passionate debate, almost all the NAMs from all the political parties and the Independent, who took the floor, spoke in favour of a repeal of this section which was described as obnoxious and a fetter to their independence in representing the interests of the electorate who voted them into office. It was only the NAMs from Lower Baddibu, Sanimentereng and Jeshwang who opposed the repealing of this section.

The lawmakers, after the rephrasing of the amendment by the mover of the motion during the Committee stage of the proceedings, finally voted for the total removal of section 91 (1) (d) without any substitution.

It could be recalled that this was the second private member’s bill since the 1997 Constituion came into being, following the first one sponsored by the former NAM for Sami Constituency, Hon. Edrissa Samba Sallah which brought law banning smoking in public places.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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