By: Kebba AF Touray
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dawda A Jallow, has on Monday 22nd March 2021, presented a bill entitled Elections Bill 2021, before lawmakers for scrutiny, consideration and adoption.
The bill has undergone the first reading stage, which constitutes the presentation or handing over of the bill to the national assembly. The second reading stage is expected to take place next week Monday, when lawmakers would have the opportunity to debate on the bill.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Mariam Jack Denton, said: “The Elections Bill 2021 has been read for the first time. The next stage of the Bill is appointed for Monday 29th March 2021 for the Justice Minister to move a motion for the bill to be read a second time.”
She added that Standing Order 66(2) states that, “at the conclusion on the proceedings of the first reading or any subsequent stage of a bill, the next stage may be taken either forthwith or upon a date to be named, provided that second reading shall not be taken no sooner than one working day after the first reading”.
Meanwhile, the assembly ratified the motion for the establishment of Parliamentary Friendship Group between the Gambia and the Kingdom of Morocco.
Sainey Touray, the Deputy Majority Leader and Member for Jarra East, who moved the motion, told the assembly that the establishment of the friendship group aims to reinforce the already cordial bilateral relations between Banjul and Rabat.
“The Gambia has recently signed two cooperation agreements with the Kingdom of Morocco in the fields of health and diplomatic trainings. These agreements intend to focus on sharing expertise and experience with a view to support in the fight against communicable diseases and enhance Gambia’s skills in pursuing its interest through proactive diplomacy,” he said
Touray disclosed that the mandates of the friendship groups are to foster parliamentary relations, promote mutual exchange in area of development and to serve as linkage between the two legislatures.
Saikouba Jarjue, Member for Busumbala, said it is good to create friendship groups with legislatures of other countries, but urged that the groups should be proactive and dedicated in pursuing the objectives for which they are established.
Kajali Fofana, member for Jarra West, supported the motion and expressed hope that the friendship will be a win-win situation between the two nations, adding the relations will help address some of the problems that the Gambia encounter when travelling to Morocco.
Saikou Marong, Member for Latrikunda, also said that in as much as The Gambia needs to interact with other nations, especially in Africa, there is utmost need to accord mutual respect to each other. He said Gambia accords utmost respect to outsiders regardless of status, thus he said such respect should be reciprocated to the Gambia.
Lamin FM Conta, Member for Kombo East, said the motion has come at the right time and expressed his belief that the creation of the friendship will further cement the relations between the two states.