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Friday, September 17, 2021

Assembly suspends debate until President or delegate appears

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By Omar Bah

The National Assembly has unanimously suspended the debate on the State of the Nation Address of President Barrow demanding the presence of the president or the vice president.

Members argued yesterday the sitting will not go ahead without the presence of the executive, since they cannot be speaking to themselves on the matter raised in the president’s speech.

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The national assembly members however took note that the Vice President is currently attending the 74th session of the UN General Assembly but they argued that where the President and Vice are not available, they can be represented by the Minister responsible for National Assembly matters.

However, after listening to the concerns raised by the NAMs, the Speaker Mariam Jack-Denton reminded them that although the motion can be moved to suspend the sittings there is no law that empowers the National Assembly to force the President to appear before it at that point in time.

“The only thing we can do is to stand down for an hour’s time to allow the executive to be present,” she argued.

The sitting was subsequently suspended until Wednesday with the Speaker promising to contact the executive before the rescheduled date.

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