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NAMs want remuneration for ex-members

Sep 13, 2012, 10:04 AM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

If plans by members of the National Assembly are anything to go by, former parliamentarians will soon start benefitting from remuneration with the proposed introduction of a constituency allowance for former members.

At Wednesday’s sittings of the National Assembly in its third meeting in the 2012 legislative year, the member for Tumana constituency, Hon. Netty Baldeh, who laid before deputies a report of the National Assembly Authority Meeting minutes, said most former parliamentarians do not come back into public life.

“For a start, it is difficult for them to get into the civil service because of their status as former National Assembly Members,” he said.

This, he said, does not mean that the former parliamentarians are not worthy of service or they don’t have the capacity to serve the country.

“It does not mean that we have to dispose of anyone that has been a politician before, because then it will look like being a politician is like a curse and not a blessing,” the Tumana parliamentarian told his colleagues.

Noting that the National Assembly is one of the institutions that have gone for the biggest turn, Hon. Baldeh said former parliamentarians come from backgrounds that are relevant to this country.According to him, their position as former National Assembly Members should not be used against them.“Therefore, we have proposed a policy for ex-National Assembly Members to be incorporated into the system of governance that are applicable to them, and where they are competent and of help to the country,” he stated.

In his own view, National Assembly Members do not only serve as National Assembly Members, but also serve as doctors, lawyers and undertakers because, as he put it, when somebody dies in their constituencies, they as parliamentarians make all the necessary arrangements.

“Whenever there is trouble in constituencies, they come to you (NAMs) but how are you going to assist them if you are not remunerated,” Hon. Jatta argued.

“NAMs should be remunerated well, and no wonder you will see a National Assembly member struggling to get the first or second seat of a gele-gele with ordinary passengers,” he said, adding that it is not a good sign.