By: Kebba AF Touray
The National Assembly on Wednesday December 18th 2019, referred the motion to confirm the appointment of Baboucar Alieu Suwareh as Ombudsman, which was to be effective 1st November 2019 for an initial term of five years, in accordance with Section 164 subsection 1 of the Constitution and Section 2 subsections 3 of the Ombudsman Act 1997, in consultation with the Public Service Commission (PSC).
The appointment which was made by President Barrow, was conveyed in a letter entitled PMO/CON/289/10, of 31st October 2019 and copied to Deputies at the National Assembly.
Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray in moving the motion, reminded deputies of the provision of Section 54 subsection 2 of the Constitution which reads: “persons appointed shall have a substantial administrative and professional experience”.
She cited that the Curriculum Vitae of Mr. Suwareh, has adequately met this requirement; that records indicate that Mr. Suwareh is within the age bracket of 65 years and has worked for over forty years in the Gambian Civil Service, by rising to higher ranks from a classroom teacher, to a regional education director; that all this was prior to his appointment as Deputy Head of Mission at the Gambian Embassy in the Peoples’ Republic of China from 2016 to 2018.
“To the best of my knowledge and understanding, Mr. Suwareh is a person of good character and standing in our community. He has important credentials which are critical in the execution of the noble task assigned to him by the Constitution and the Ombudsman Act”.
She reminded Lawmakers of Section 2 subsection 3 of the Ombudsman Act which stipulates that the appointee shall hold office for a period of five years and shall be eligible for reappointment; and Section 3 subsection1 (a) and (b), which prescribed the functions of the Ombudsman.
“In light of the foregoing, I recommend his appointment to this Honorable Assembly for confirmation. I beg to move that this august assembly consent and confirm the appointment of Mr. Suwareh by His Excellency President Barrow, as Ombudsman in accordance with Section 164 subsection 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia”.
The Member for Jokadu, seconded the motion and urged his fellow Lawmakers to give their support to the appointment stating that Mr. Suwareh is a seasoned educationist whose expertise can help transform the Office of the Ombudsman.
Halifa Sallah the Member for SerreKunda relied on Standing Order 141 of the National Assembly to move the motion for the Bill to be referred to the Public Appointment’s Committee of the Legislature, to advise the National Assembly on the appointment.
The move by Halifa was seconded and supported by the Member for Sandu Muhammed Mahanera and subsequently, the appointment motion tabled by the Vice President, was referred to the relevant committee for scrutiny, consideration and adoption.