Scrutiny of the President’s SoNA Saga Awaits VP’s Presence

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    By Aramata Jatta
    The Adjournment Debate on President Adama Barrow’s State of National Address Saga continues on Wednesday 25 September 2019, at the National Assembly as Law Makers awaits the presence of Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray to represent the President.
    The readership could recall that the Debate on the State of the Nation Address was suspended on Monday 23rd September 2019 and the Assembly was adjourned to Wednesday 25th September 2019 for the Debate to commence.
    This was as a result of a Motion duly moved and seconded by the august Assembly requesting the President or the Vice President to attend the sitting and participate in the Debate and it was later announced by the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Mariama Jack Denton that the Vice President was not within the jurisdiction of the country.
    As sittings resumes on Wednesday, the Speaker indicated that her office has immediately conveyed the decision of the Assembly on Monday 23rd September, 2019 to the Office of President of the Republic.
    ‘’ Hon. Members, I am here to report that the Office of the President has duly communicated to the Office of the Speaker on Tuesday 24th September, 2019, informing this Assembly that the Vice President of the Republic (who is mandated under section 77(3) of the Constitution to answer to matters affecting the President in this Assembly) is currently away on an official mission’’.
    According to the Speaker, the Office of the President has communicated the unavailability of the Vice President until 3rd October, 2019. Hon Jack Denton affirmed that cognizant of the provisions of the Constitution on this matter, coupled with the express intention of the motion of the Assembly which was duly passed and that in the absence of the President, it is only the Vice President who is mandated by law to speak for the President in the National Assembly.
    ‘’ I will therefore invoke clause 9(1) of the Standing Orders to adjourn this Assembly until tomorrow 26th September, 2019 to consider other businesses of the Assembly. Equally, I will suspend the debate on the State of the Nation Address until Thursday 3rd October, 2019 to allow the presence of the Vice President to attend the sitting and partake in the debate’’.
    ‘’ For the purposes of clarity, the Assembly will be adjourned until tomorrow Thursday 26th September, 2019 for consideration of other businesses, while the debate on The State of the Nation Address will now commence on Thursday 3rd October, 2019.

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