By Juldeh Njie Prominent rights prodemocracy activist Madi Jobarteh, has called on the National Assembly Members to invoke section 75 of the 1997 constitution and pass a vote of censure against the finance minister for tendering an unconstitutional supplementary budget. He made these remarks in a Standard exclusive over the weekend at a day long open interaction with NAMs and CSOs organised by the International Republican Institute. “The supplementary budget is a clear violation of the constitution. The minister should have known that he should not have submitted a supplementary budget because there is no contingency fund established by an act of parliament. Despite knowing that full well he still went ahead and did this, meaning he still wants to violate the constitution and he has violated it and for that matter he must be held accountable,” he said. He said the constitution spelled out that a minister is an appointed public official who is mandated to manage public affairs and the management of those resources is governed by the rule of law as specified in the constitution. He added: “So that no citizen should have the liberty to violate the constitution and no elected or appointed public official should have the liberty to underperform, to abuse office and still keep that office because that will be impunity”. He said therefore the only way to put him to account is for NAMs to invoke section 75 of the constitution. “The National Assembly must therefore not only stop at the rejection of this unconstitutional supplementary budget but they must go further to invoke Section 75 of the Constitution by passing a vote of censure against the Minister for the President to sack him immediately,” he stressed. Jobarteh said since independence the National Assembly had always allowed the executive to have their way in approving their request for supplementary budget, which serves no purpose other than satisfying the greed of public officials. Mr Jobarteh said: “It just reflects that same culture of abuse of office since independence by public officials appointed or elected. These things are happening ever since, so for that matter we have to put a stop to it”.]]>
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