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Minority leader reacts to nomination of Gambia representatives to ECOWAS Parliament

Jul 13, 2015, 12:11 PM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

Hon. Samba Jallow, National Assembly member for Niamina Dankunku and the minority leader, has reacted to the manner of nomination of Gambia’s representatives to the ECOWAS parliament.

He said it was “very disappointing and unfair for the nomination to the ECOWAS parliament to be done at the Office of the President.”

The minority leader was speaking at a press conference on Thursday at his office at the National Assembly Building in Banjul, where he said the nomination should be conducted by the Office of the Speaker or the National Assembly Authority.

He said according to information, this year’s nomination was done at the Office of the President and the Office of the President “failed to consult” the Office of the Speaker for legislative advice on how to do the selection.

Hon. Jallow informed journalists that nomination was done and all the members of the delegation were picked from the ruling party, which he believes “does not embrace democracy”.

According to him, for the past 18 years every delegation to the ECOWAS parliament has been composed of one opposition and the other four are from the ruling party, including a female.

He questioned why the selection this year has no opposition member.

“I believe the Office of the President should be the first office to embrace democracy in this country,” he said.

“How would the Gambian delegation feel if they go to the ECOWAS Parliament and find other 14 member countries come with the right composition, and The Gambia gets there with a negative composition; it would definitely send a negative signal about The Gambia,” he said.

According to the minority leader, “The Gambia has always been accused, as a country that is not embracing democracy” and if such should happen “in our parliament where democracy begins, it would definitely qualify” that accusation to be true.