Opinion: The National Assembly should be opened for business

By Kebba Nanko

Almost all the countries in the world their legislative branches are busy to see how they can save their country, while in Gambia our national assembly is closed, the last time I checked when we talk about government is not only the executive.

It saddens me a lot if some of our National Assembly members couldn’t tell us what they can do legislatively to help their voters, but some of them will come on Facebook behave like they are as powerless and hopeless as their voters.

They need to open the National Assembly right now and stop pointing fingers at the president. The president and the National Assembly Members are elected officials, they must act together as one team and avoid the blame games. There is a reason we elected them, there is also a reason for the separation of powers, and the primary role of the National Assembly is to ensure the executive is accountable to the people.

Despondently, most of them are still residing in the Greater Banjul Areas living their electorates in the provinces while busy writing on Facebook. If they close the Assembly, the least expected from them is to go back to their various constituencies to provide them the necessary tools and advice.

We are hearing in the news in other countries that, lawmakers are busy trying to save lives because they started getting the virus themselves; with all that, they refused to shut down the legislative branch while ours are too afraid. Gambia we have a long way to go!!!

Most people are calling on the president to declare a State of Emergency, and that requires the approval of the National Assembly, but the Parliament is closed.

For The Gambia to succeed, the Legislature must equally rise to the occasion. Facebook rant is for their electorates, they should be busy right now thinking and drafting laws that will save the economy, lives and the general well-being of their voters.

Do not tell me they are still waiting for the new constitution to act.

Do not tell me the president shut down the National Assembly because he didn’t have such powers.

The National Assembly is weakening our democracy and that will potentially enable the president.

In serious countries, the legislature forces the executive to act or face consequences, but ours are not showing any real/tangible solutions.

What is the role of the National Assembly in this crucial moment of the world pandemic?

As some people are accusing the president of not demonstrating leadership, what can the National Assembly Members do to help their voters? How can they make sure the president rise to the occasion while they remained closed? In my view, the president is far better than them, at least he is open for business.

Please open the National Assembly and work with the president to help the Gambian people. Democracy works when all branches of government work hand in glove by putting the national interest first.

Kebba Nanko,

Peoples Progressive Party (PPP).

New York

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