By Aramata Jatta
Members of the National Assembly on Monday 6th July 2020 after over 12hours of debating on the Amendment of the Local Government Act, a private member’s bill which was tabled by Hon.Alagie Jawara member for Lower Badibou has been read for the second time.
This Bill was first read on the 2nd of July 2020 and was appointed for a second reading on the 6th July 2020 in accordance with standing order Clause 66 sub-clause 2.
The Bill seeks to grand independence to the members of the Area Councils from their respective parties and political leaders and to further enhance the system of the local governance autonomy, freedom of speech and debate in accordance with section 193 of the Constitution
NAM for Banjul North, Hon Ousman Sillah cited that “section 112 was invoked here that if you are here as elected representative we must always be guided by consent and what serve the interests of the nation”.
He further went on to say “if you are elected through the ticket of a political party your action here must be guided by section 112, if your political party those not support that what should dictate you should be your consent and national interest”.
According to Hon. Sillah he believed what this Amendment Bill is seeking is to protect the power of the people that entrusted the power adding that what they are doing it to safeguard the people.
NAM for Niamina East Hon. Omar Caesay argued that “What is before the document and behind the document are completely different citing that the rationale behind the document is best known to every individual here.”
Hon.Ceesay affirmed that he was never in anyway dictated by his political party on what so ever he uttered here “every individual was once identify as a candidate for a political party and went in for a primary and why do they have to go in for that primary, if they believe that they have the support base within their area in order to win the election”.
He further stated that “the party supported you, back you, finance and did everything possible to ensure that you secure that seat and you have nothing to do but to find your way out without any consequences and that is dishonest to me”.
Hon. Ceesay concluded that “anytime you feel that you can no longer support that political party the best thing for you to do is to resign and go out there and seek the mandate of the electorate and see if they will elect you or not”.
Hon. Ndey Yasin Secka a Nominated Member lamented that she“If my party is to sack me for the interest of the country I will not hesitate to go, I am in for the country I don’t mind about any other party.” let us do away with this cosmetic party where force is apply.
She reminded the members that they are voted for to serve the country saying that they should be generous to the country, and willing to serve as it is their motherland.
Recalling the tabling of the 91 .1 (c) Bill, Hon Secka said “when the 91.1. c Bill came most of us the NAM were happy and if they say no to this Bill they are inconsistence and they should think about.