Sunday, May 31, 2020

IF A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IS NOT IMMUNE TO ARBITRARY ARREST AND DETENTION, WHO IS?

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Parliamentarians all over the world are seen as the eyes and ears of the people they represent. They do not have assistants who would replace them at the National Assembly if they are indisposed. Hence once they are absent their seats become vacant. They leave their constituencies without any representation.

This is why they are given immunities in most parts of the world. They are only arrested if parliament is informed of their action and requested to vote to revoke their immunities before they could be arrested and charged with a crime.

In The Gambia, the National Assembly member for Kombo Central has been under detention for about a week without been taken to court or released as required by section 19 of the Constitution. Who is representing his constituency in the National Assembly? What is the National Assembly doing to find out why one of their members is arbitrarily detained?

It is absolutely necessary for the legislature to be independent. This is inconceivable if they are not given immunities which should not be waived unless it is necessary. Foroyaa will continue to monitor developments in the detention of the Kombo Central MP.

 

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