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Thursday, February 25, 2021

MINORITY LEADER SLAMS SECTION 91D OF CONSTITUTION

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Section 91 (d) is a clause in the Gambian Constitution that automatically expels a lawmaker from the National Assembly after he or she cross-carpets or is dismissed from their parties.

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He said: “If the opposition have a firm presence in the National Assembly, the House will not be remote-controlled as it is happening [now]. I am not even saying that because of the ruling party. Section 91 (d) has made each member of a political party to control your National Assembly member. For instance, if I have a problem with Hamat [Bah], the leader of my party [National Reconciliation Party], he can, through that clause, dismiss me from the National Assembly and just kick me out of the party.

“This clause is standing in the way of National Assembly members and preventing them from delivering as expected of them because the clause [puts] members to the control of their party chiefs. The clause should be scrapped. This clause has taken power from the electorate and places it in the hands of some party chiefs, which is undemocratic. It should be up to the voters to send me out of the National Assembly but not some powerful person in my party. Under this sort of circumstances, the powers of National Assembly members are reduced and they are careful not to annoy certain people otherwise they can be tactically sacked.”      

The minority leader has also called on his colleagues in the opposition to demonstrate maturity in their quest for a coalition.  

He added: “Choosing a standard-bearer for a coalition should not be a problem. What should unite us is change and nobody should care even if we are to select an object for a leader so long as there are assurances that the object will lead us to change. Well, the idea of bringing an independent person is always a problem but they can select amongst themselves. If they want to select someone who is outside, and not known in the political field in the country that can be a source of another problem. Personally, I don’t mind who they select as their standard-bearer.”

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