Lawmaker calls for greater collaboration with CSOs to strengthen democracy

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By Juldeh Njie The National Assembly Member for Kombo East constituency, Lamin FM Conta, has called on civil society organisations to partner with lawmakers to help strengthen the democratisation process of the country. He made these remarks in a Standard exclusive on the sidelines of a recently held day-long open interaction with NAMs and CSOs organised by the International Republican Institute. “I believe the National Assembly and the civil society organisations should work as partners in development because the NAMs are here to make laws but to advocate for the betterment of the people is done by the CSOs”, Conta said. He said they want to work hand in glove with CSOs to put in place proper mechanisms for both parties to work for the development of the country. He said: “This is important because most of the electorates don’t know the functions of the National Assembly. And I know most of us don’t know our roles when we came in newly, so therefore we promised things that we are not mandated to do”. According to him, partnering CSOs will help to avert such things, eventually enabling people to make informed choices when voting. “We are very much willing to work with the CSOs so that they can help us in our drive and to also enable us to sensitise the grass root to understand our work.” He said he is of the belief that partnering with the CSOs will yield dividend because for far too long, CSOs and NAMs were walking in parallel lines. “We believe that with the new found democracy, this will pave way for us to work effectively towards the realisation of our development aspirations as Gambians. “We are doing our best but we need more capacity building and this can only be done when we have collaboration with CSOs.” He said since The Gambia is a democratic country, it is important for both parties to put their differences aside and work for the betterment of the country. “We can work as partners and correct each other if need be. So therefore partnering will be an added advantage for us to achieve our set goals”, he stressed.]]>

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