Sidia Jatta

A member of the Gambia’s National Assembly is leading calls for an end to the old colonial system, which gives the president the power to accent or reject bills passed by the elected members of the National Assembly.

Sidia Jatta, Peoples Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) member for Wuli West, said the decades-long system of governance between parliament and the executive in the ratification and accenting to documents before they come into law should to be revised.

Speaking at Wednesday adjournment debate, Mr Jatta said National Assembly Members should reflect on the separation of powers between parliament and the executive, noting that the executive is accountable to parliament and parliament has the power to even impeach the president and all his ministers.

“That is a colonial system that has been in existence for years. But the irony is that when we make laws here in parliament, it does not become law until it is accented to by the president,” Mr. Jatta said.

The plain speaking politician asked the National Assembly Members to immediately reflect about parliament and the executive powers in relation to bringing laws to functionality and see what is wrong about it, saying parliament making laws that cannot become active unless accented to by the president must be reflected on.

“Is that the practice universally? No, it is not.”

He said the Gambia was a British colony and in the colonial legislature to be control by the monarchy, any law passed in the parliament during the colonial period was examined and vetted by the Queen/King to make sure it did not go against their interest. He added that the same practice is sadly continuing today in independent Gambia.

By Amadou JALLOW