By Almamo Kamaso
In the debate on the local government amendment Bill Monday, the honourable member for Kiang East, Hon Yahya Gassama told members that the honourable thing for any elected member be they councillors or members of the National Assembly who is not happy with his or her political party is to resign his or her position to pave way for a bye-elections if they are sure of themselves.
Contributing as his deliberations on merit and objectives of private member Bill said he is thanking he member for Lower Baddibu for bringing this Bill, but he is not thanking him on the merits of the Bill but he is thanking him because members were able to catalogue a number of bad laws.
He pointed out that , there are members of this parliament who were here for decades when this so-called bad laws were here and yet they did nothing to amend them.
He reminded members that he is very concern about the timing of this Bill. He said when section 91 .1.C was amended this obnoxious laws were here, but why now. At that time no one was aggrieved. This particular provision was there today and why now. It is simply because somebody is aggrieved and that is why they want a change of the laws.
Hon Gassama emphasised that political parties are very important in any democracy as they are the pillars. He is baffled as others want to demean this very important institutions. He reminded members that approving this Bill is opening the floodgates for betrayals by elected people of their electorates. Gassama said the most noble thing a person can do is , if you no longer feel good with your party, resign and go for bye-elections.
Hon Dawda K Jawara taking he floor on the private members Bill debate told member’s member that he is happy that such a good Bill comes to this parliament and debated in such a way. However he told members that taking a cue from the past when certain comments comes from people who give him a lot of inspiration when they stood here and say this is a parliament that is going to make a very difference. At that time his party (UDP) as 31 members but it was not reflective on our deliberations.
The honourable member said but today we are seeing party lines emerging slowly but surely in some of the debates we pursue here, which is very unfortunate. The member disagrees that this amendment can give councillors the autonomy they are asking for.
The parliamentarian said a certain member told the members that they have a host of amendments they wanted to do but their efforts were all derailed by the local government minister. Hon Jawara asked why this Bill now, why this particular provisions when you leave out the autonomy, and why when you leave out the local government decentralizations. Jawara called for members to vote against this Bill.