Some campaigners for the National Assembly elections are advocating for the election of National Assembly members who will simply endorse any Bill or motion brought to the National Assembly by the Government, to enable it to pursue its development plans and projects. This is a myopic understanding of the role of the National Assembly which serves as a check on the Executive.
It is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that whatever it takes to the National Assembly is fit for purpose and is defensible. It is likewise the responsibility of members of the National Assembly to scrutinize whatever is laid before them in order to satisfy themselves that any motion or Bill passed, is in the national interest. To do otherwise is to encourage a mediocratic Government backed by a mediocratic parliament, the casualty of which is the people and the nation.
That is why it is important for the electorate to vote for National Assembly members who are not guided by personal or partisan consideration but are guided by their conscience and the national interest as stated in Section 112 of the Constitution thus:
“…all members shall regard themselves as servants of the people of The Gambia, and shall desist from any conduct by which they seek improperly to enrich themselves or alienate themselves from the people, 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 conscience and the national interest.”