By Lamin Cham
A delegation of Parliamentarians from the British Parliament, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the West Minister Foundation for Democracy today completes a four- day induction training for Gambia National Assembly Members, NAMs.
Addressing the media yesterday on their visit James Duddridge, head of the team said they are in Banjul to help the new Gambian NAMs to improve and strengthen their parliament.
‘ We have been working with the NAMs on a wide range of issues such as strengthening the legislature, the select committee system and how NAMs behave especially in holding the executive to account considering what happened here,”he said.
He said following the troubles in the Gambia, the Parliament is new and looking forward to develop and strengthen its capability to hold the executive to account. Duddridge revealed that they have had several meetings including one with the Vice President who has expressed enthusiasm about the work they are doing here and about the Gambia’s future in terms of democracy .
Duddridge, who is also the chairman of the Commonwealth parliamentary association and the last minister for Africa under former Prime Minister David Cameron, disclosed that the Commonwealth very much wants the Gambia back into the family and hopefully before the next Commonwealth leaders’ meeting CHOM next year, The Gambia will have been part of the broader family . He expressed excitement about his meetings and interaction with Gambian people adding that the future of the country is bright. The British Ambassador to The Gambia Sharon Wardle said the visit is building on the long and historic relations between the Gambia and UK..
Meanwhile, Baba Galleh Jallow the Member for Sanementereng Constituency said the induction training has provided him and his colleagues with very good ideas about the role of an MP in a democracy .”These few days have been very useful and instructive to us as we have learnt a lot.”
Alhagie Darboe of Brikama North and Assan Touray of Bakau expressed similar sentiment