By Lamin Cham
The Ecowas Parliament formally started its extraordinary session on the evaluation of its fourth legislature at the Coral Beach hotel in Brufut yesterday.
Some 91 members of the parliament are attending the meeting. The three-day meeting, the first time since the Parliament was set up in Mali in 2000; the assembly gives itself the opportunity to conduct its own evaluation.
Addressing the opening session, the Speaker of the Parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo disclosed that in the course of this ordinary session, members would have the duty to evaluate and assess what has been achieved as a group from February 2016 to date.
He said in order to treat the different aspects of the group and provide appropriate answers to future legislatures or future generations, the Banjul meeting has planned several discussion panels in the programme, particularly on the evolution of ECOWAS since its inception, the evaluation of the activities of the fourth legislature and the critical evaluation of the implementation of the supplementary act on the enhancement of the powers of the Parliament. “The outcome of the works from these panels will be the subject for plenary debates and what is expected from this exercise therefore is a much wider and varied assessment of the different aspects of the report of the fourth legislature.”
The speaker further stated that an appropriate evaluation gives the ECOWAS Parliament the opportunity to set up links between the programmes and activities of one legislature to another. “Thus, in addition to evaluating our performance as a Fourth legislature we will have the occasion to make concrete recommendations to the incoming 5th Legislature as regards the urgent challenges and issues that it must sort out in addition to its own programs and strategic plans. To this end, we shall work with highly qualified resource persons in order to review the programs and activities that we have implemented in the course of this Fourth legislature so as to be able to identify the achievements and successes as well as the challenge sand limitations,” he said.
Speaker Cise then conveyed the parliament’s gratitude to President Adama Barrow and the Gambian people for the opportunity and goodwill to the parliament culminating in the holding of the session in Banjul.
The deputy speaker of the Gambian National Assembly, Momodou Lamin Sanneh welcomed the delegates to Banjul.