By Nelson Manneh and Makutu Manneh
The Minority Leader of the National Assembly (NA) has called on President Adama Barrow to respect the Constitution by taking parliamentary questions seriously.
Honourable Samba Jallow said this during the adjournment debate of the NA on Friday, 4th October 2019. He said since President Barrow assumed office, he has been violating the provision of section 188 (4) of the Constitution. This provision according to the lawmaker, makes it mandatory for the President to consult with the NA before sending troops for mission outside the Gambia.
Section 188 (4) states: “The President shall not deploy any troops outside The Gambia without the approval of the National Assembly.”
He said the Executive has always undermined this provision. He said he has been raising this question on several instances with the Executive, but they do not take it seriously.
“It is a violation of the Constitution,” he said.
He said the Executive should take parliamentary questions especially those that deal with the violation of the Constitution.
Majanko Samusa, a nominated member of the National Assembly said if the coalition government fails, the blame should be on the National Assembly.
“The failure of the government is here (National Assembly)”, adding they do not. ‘see together’.
“The sole place for failing the Government is here. We should see the country first. Somebody belongs to PDOIS, APRC, NRP and GDC but we are all Gambians and this is what we should see. People should stop being here at the National Assembly playing double standard,” Samusa said.
He said NAMs shouldn’t wear their political hats when coming to the National Assembly because at the National Assembly, national issues are discussed and not political party issues.
“You have to be honest particularly when you reach certain age” referring to the Deputy Speaker of the House who was critical on the State of the Nation Address by President Barrow.
Omar Ceesay, the member for Niamina East condemned Majanko’s statement.
“It is actually a misleading statement,” he said, adding that the National Assembly as an institution cannot be held responsible for the failure of the coalition.
“We are here on our party tickets and not as Coalition National Assembly members. We are here at our individual party tickets. We are here to discuss national issues and not the coalition,” he said.
“Who is a coalition National Assembly member here?” Ceesay asked, adding that there are no coalition National Assembly members in the House.
He said 9 Select Committees of the National Assembly are facing difficulties in carrying out their oversight functions owing to financial challenges.