By Omar Bah
The former National Assembly for Serekunda, Halifa Sallah has appealed to the parliamentarians to avoid being divided based on party lines in the House.
Addressing a post-election seminar for the National Assembly members by Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, UK branch and Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Honourable Sallah told NAMs they have no option but to unite.
The current parliament consists of political parties and individuals who have enjoyed bitter political rivalries. The election of the National Assembly Speaker and Deputy Speaker predicts what is to come.
But Halifa pleaded: “You have no option, you must collaborate. That is just not your desire or your will. It is beyond your will power; it is dictated by your duty and conscience and national interest.”
The veteran politician said the fact that no political party has an overwhelming majority, the lawmakers must not be fragmented based on party lines.
“We should all put the national interest before personal interest. The agenda is for you to be National Assembly members who will be efficient, effective, constructive and contributive in your parliamentary practice. Those four objectives should also govern your comprehension,” he said.
Sallah added: “I want to emphasise that cross-party collaboration is not simply a desire, it is a necessity in parliamentary life. We must first see parliament as a service and the National Assembly service is just assisting you to carry out your parliamentary duty to the nation. In order to do that, it is important to bear in mind that the constitutional framework, parliamentary procedure, precedence and judicial review of parliamentary decisions would serve as the guards and fences of your parliamentary practice. If you are schooled in this, you can consider yourself to have been well groomed to carry out your duties.”