By Tabora Bojang
Rival PPP lawmakers Fatoumatta ‘Touma” Njai and Muhammed Ndow clashed yesterday at the National Assembly over who should represent the party at an interface with the Assembly joint committees on constitutional matters and local government over Elections Bill.
Njai who was expelled by the new executive of the PPP following their chequered congress last December has since declared herself the de facto leader of the party.
Monday’s chaotic scenes in parliament were over who should officially represent the party at the meeting to which five political parties were invited.
Before the meeting was called to order, Njai tabled a motion for the joint committee, of which she is a member, to stop the PPP representatives from taking part in the meeting until the IEC resolves the party’s imbroglio.
“I was declared interim leader of the PPP by all the seven regional chairmen pending free and fair elections. I was not written to concerning this meeting and I would advise that the PPP is not represented because we are claiming two sides. I ask the committee chair to ask the PPP as a party to excuse this meeting until the IEC says the internal matter is solved and the PPP is duly represented as one party,” Touma argued.
The PPP reps led by its national president Duta Kamaso took umbrage at this and shouted down Touma’s demands.
Ndow who like Touma represents the party in the capital, contended that she was expelled from the party in March rendering her unfit to represent the party.
“Her dismissal was announced and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly was informed so it is very clear that she does not represent the PPP,” he argued.
To this, Touma countered: “Madam Co-Chair, I have moved a motion for the committee to ask the PPP representatives to leave. This is for the Members to decide and not the party reps.”
After heated exchanges, Co-Chair Ya-Kumba Jaiteh asked all the party representatives to leave the session and allow for internal discussions among lawmakers which order they complied with.