Opinion: His Excellency President Barrow’s revocation of Ms. Ya Kumba Jaiteh’s nomination as Hon. M.P. /N.A.M. was constitutional/legal

Thursday, March 07, 2019

INTRODUCTION:- His Excellency President Adama Barrow’s recent Official revocation of Ms. Ya Kumba Jaiteh, as one of the 5 Honourable Presidential Nominees for The National Assembly/Parliament, has triggered a plethora of negative and legally unfounded written/publishedreactions from:- Mr. Madi Jobarteh, Alhagi Yorro Jallow of Havard University (U.S.A.), Mr. Salieu Taal (My Learned Junior) and the newly elected President Of The Gambia Bar Association etc. I really sympathize and empathize with the 2 aforesaid monumental laymen in Law, who do not have an iota of legal expertise, and nonetheless had the guts, audacity and temerity, to publicly write articles on this important matter/controversy, which are nothing but unacceptable misrepresentations of both 1997 The Constitution and other Laws Of The Gambia. Nemodat non quod habet (Latin:- one cannot give, what one hasn’t got). The National Assembly/Parliament, is established by Section 88 of the said Constitution, and Section 88 (1) says it is composed of 53 Elected Members and 5 Nominated Members. The incontrovertible Constitutional rationale for these 5 Honourable Nominated Members, (who should be politically neutral or apolitical, at all times), is for them to ably represent special interests in the said Assembly /Parliament, like:- Women’s Rights, Child Rights, Rights Of Youths, Environmental Protection, Trade Unions, Rights of The Disabled,  etc.. In his masterpiece book titled:- “A Hundred Great Lives”, Lamperi, the erudite historian wrote:-“Aristotle, was a man with a defunct countenance, but his genius was sufficient compensation for his personal defect. He was a man, with a readiness of invention and fecundity of thought, and no philosopher, made a more profound impression on the Western World.”In other words:-“Disability does not mean inability.” The Assembly is now on recess, it will resume work in March 2019.Section 91 of the said Constitution, states the different Legal grounds, on which a Honourable National Assembly Member-N.A.M./M.P., shall cease to be a Member Of the said Assembly, and these are:- The dissolution of The National Assembly, or any reason that could have disqualified a candidate from contesting a National Assembly Election, or if he/she resigns, or if elected as an Independent Candidate and he/she then joins a Political Party, or if he/she is recalled by his/her constituents, or if he/she is absent for 10 or more sittings of the National Assembly, and if he/she is found to be guilty of “Contempt Of The National Assembly”, contrary to Section 110 of the said Constitution, ( a heinous Parliamentary Offence).

Author: DR. Henry D.R. Carrol (M.R.G.), Senior Oxford-Trained Lawyer