Wednesday, January 20, 2021

National Assembly rejects Halifa Sallah’s Motion for the Assembly to Rescind its Decision

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By: Kebba AF Touray

Halifa Sallah, the Member for Serrekunda, on Friday 27th November 2020, moved a motion for the Assembly to rescind its decision of allocating (fifty four million four hundred thousand dalasis) (D54,400,000) for a loan scheme for NAMs.

Sallah while moving the motion during the consideration of the 2021 budget estimate argued that the NAMs went acted beyond their powers under the Constitution, the Public Finance Act and the Standing Orders.

He started his argument by stating that Standing Order 29 of the Standing Orders, provides for the possibility of rescinding decision made by the Assembly.

He further said that Standing Order 29(3), states that it shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question, upon which the Assembly has taken a decision, during a current session, except upon a motion to rescind that decision to which notice must be given.

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He added that he is moving the motion because of its urgency and that is why he had requested the Speaker to give the green light to make the motion.

He reminded the Assembly that they are dealing with the most important document (the budget) of the land, which deals with the revenue and expenditure of the country.

He said having regard to section 112 of the constitution, which states that National Assembly Members must defend the integrity of the Assembly and must at all times ensure that what they do, must defend the national interest.

He said it also states that all members shall maintain the dignity of the Assembly both during the sittings of the National Assembly and in their activities outside the Assembly.

He added: Section 112 of the Constitution further States that all members shall see themselves as servants of the people, desist from any conduct by which they seek improperly to enrich themselves or allocate themselves 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 their conscience and national interest.

He said that he made the motion having regard to standing orders 81, 8(2), 8(3), 85, 91(3)(a) (b), 91(5) and 91(7).

He said the move was also made having regard to section 152 of the Constitution due to the fact that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, as well as having regard to sections 21, 24 and 25 of the Public Finance Act.

He said: “I wish to move that by adding a sum to the Assembly, which has no provision in terms of item and head, went beyond the bounds of what this Assembly is empowered to do under our Constitution, Public Finance Act and the Standing Orders”.

He moved: “By virtue of that I move that we rescind our decision and then allow the Clerk and the Finance Ministry to work on any proposal that any member may have.”

He told the Assembly: “If we fail to do that we will be sacrificing section 112 of the Constitution”.

The motion was put to a vote. Out of 33 lawmakers who voted, 16 voted in favour of the motion and 17 voted against the motion, thus the motion was rejected.

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