Lack of Quorum Affects Legislative Proceedings


By: Kebba AF Touray

The National Assembly on Tuesday 14th September 2021 could not proceed with its sitting due to lack of quorum as most of the lawmakers were not present.

The quorum could not be met even after one-hour adjournment of the sitting by Speaker Mariam Jack Denton, who after assuming her seat in the chambers, noticed that a quorum for them to commence the proceeding was not met.

One of the reasons that barred the sitting were; some of the lawmakers were with the President on his ‘Meet the People’s Tour,’ others were sick and attending personal issues.

This compelled the speaker to adjourn the sitting for an hour to wait for other members to come into the chamber to proceed with their debate on the President’s last week’s state of the nation address.

After the one-hour adjournment elapsed, the Speaker reconvened the sitting. There was still no quorum. Subsequently, the Speaker adjourned the sitting to today (Wednesday) 15th September, 2021, for the legislature to continue with its debate on the SoNA 2021.

Meanwhile, standing order 12 states: “The presence of at least one-half of all members shall be necessary before the commencement of a sitting. If there is not a quorum present when the speaker takes the chair at the appointed time, immediately after prayers the speaker shall direct members to be summoned by the ringing of their parties are in attendance. If after the expired of two minutes, one-half of the members are not present the speaker shall defer commencement to a later time, not exceeding one hour, or the Assembly shall remain adjourned until the next sitting day”