Gambia’s democratization process is taking shape—with the newly sworn Speaker of the House Mariam Jack Denton, officiating the first sitting of the National Assembly.  Ms. Denton is an attorney by profession. She is the former wife the late Accountant General Abou Denton. She is also a member of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP).  Her nomination as the Speaker of the House was confirmed unanimously.

Among the nominated House Members include: Majanko Samusa, Ms. Ndey Yassin Secka Sallah, Kumba Jaiteh, and Momodou Sanneh.

The oath of allegiance was administered by the Chief Justice on all the elected MPS, including nominated Members. They have promised to live to the dictates of the constitution and in the best interest of the country.

Earlier on, Halifa Sallah of the PDOIS raised the issue of lack of constitutional observance  to the gathering—given the lack of compliance in gazetting the proceedings prior to the swearing in ceremony, as stipulated by the constitution. But Halifa’s query was debunked by the Chief Justice Assan Jallow, who informed him that no law was broken. Hence, Halifa Sallah, Sidia Jatta, Swaibou Touray, and Ousman Sillah have all taken their oaths as prescribed by the constitution,

Meanwhile, the NRP, which is part of the Coalition Government has taken the position of minority leader, while the UDP has equally assumed the role of majority leader in the House.

Political analysts said the position of minority leader should go to the current opposition: The GDC and the APRC and not the NRP, which is a stakeholder in the current government. Hence, analysts said it doesn’t make any sense for the government to assume an opposition role in parliament.

The GDC and the APRC have a case here to pursue—given the unwarranted power grab on the side of the coalition government. The role of minority leader should be assumed by either the GDC, or the APRC, the analysts noted.  

Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai

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