Monday, November 30, 2020

Were the National Assembly members who voted against the passing of the Constitution of the Gambia 2020 Promulgation Bill to go to the Committee stage for review misguided by the Attorney General?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

It is important for the Public to get correct information about happenings at the level of Cabinet and the National Assembly so that they could make informed judgment on the conduct of their representatives.

According to Section 72 Subsection (2)   of the Constitution:

“The Attorney General shall be the principal legal adviser to the Government and shall have the right of audience in all courts in The Gambia.”

To most Gambians Government include the National Assembly and the Judiciary. This is not the position of the law.  The Constitution defines Government as follows:

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“Government” means the executive Government of The Gambia;”

The Attorney General is the principal legal adviser of the executive. Parliament should have its own legal team. The National Assembly does have a legal team and members could consult them at their pleasure.

Members of the National Assembly have created their own rules of procedure. They knew that the voting was not the final stage. It was just the second step to push it to the Committee stage for proper scrutiny. They still had the power to reject it at the third stage, after scrutiny.

We may assume that each did what they did in good faith. Now that the outcome is becoming clearer let us hope that people would do things differently if they have a second opportunity to decide. This is how matters stand.

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