Will Persons With Disability Be Represented In Parliament?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

The information coming to Foroyaa reveals that women will have one seat less than what they had in the last parliament and those living with disability will have no representation. This is becoming a subject of debate among those who are watching the development since the beginning of the National Assembly elections. Others talk about the lack of religious diversity in the selection of nominated members.

Gender and disability have been mainstreamed in the democratisation process. Those who make appointments are required to put these two factors into consideration whenever they make a decision. It is not clear whether President Barrow did put these two factors into consideration when he was making his nomination.

It is important to point out two fundamental developments in the Gambian legislature.

First and foremost, those who are elected as independent members cannot join political parties without losing their seats. This is clearly expressed by section 91(1)(e) of the Constitution. It reads:

“A member of the National Assembly shall vacate his or her seat in the National Assembly if, having been elected a member as an independent candidate, he or she joins a political party.”

Furthermore, the Supreme Court has ruled that once a person has been nominated as a member the president will not have the power to remove such a person.