By Lamin Sanyang

 

Gambia’s veteran politician, Halifa Sallah, who was speaking at a press conference raised concerns as to whether the country has escaped from political parties having undue bearing on the decision making process of the executive.

“Have we escaped what we want to escape,” Halifa Sallah said.

Sallah talked about the composition of the Cabinet, National Assembly in terms of the nomination of members and Ambassadorial Posts, which he said should be transparent.

“Have we gone into technical consideration rather than partisan consideration. Are they being filled by obligations ought to the executive or obligations ought to the people?” he asked.

Sallah said he was not making condemnation but was only opening it to debate and urged the media to be vigilant in its oversight function. He said another thing that has been averted is the threatening of the executive by the legislative body. He asserted that the UDP with 31 seats cannot pass a ‘Vote of No Confident’ as it lacked 2/3 majority in the National Assembly.

“The composition of the National Assembly does not give the party with the highest number of seats the mandate to amend the constitution,” he pointed out.

Sallah explained that the 22 members that do not belong to the majority provide a leeway in balancing the executive when it comes to amending the constitution. He emphasized that the constitutional amendments can be done through a coalition which he said makes more sense. He added that if the 31 seats refused to passed any bill then it will not be pass by the National Assembly.

“We hope it will be united on purpose as we move to achieve the fundamental objective of the coalition that is to put an end to self perpetuating rule and consolidation of power,” Sallah said.

Meanwhile, Sallah has emphasized the need for reforming the institutions and building instruments to build a better country for all Gambians irrespective of their political, ethnic and religious affiliations.