NAMS said Barrow does not have the power to sack Ya Kumba Jaiteh

Members of the Gambia’s National Assembly Monday issued a statement condemning President Adama Barrow’s decision to revoke the nomination of a member of the country’s National Assembly.

They said the revocation of Ya Kumba Jaiteh’s membership is unconstitutional and considered ‘null and void’ by the National Assembly.

Ms Jaiteh, a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP) who serve on the Foreign Affairs and the Local Government and Lands Committee of the Assembly, was hand-picked in 2017 by President Barrow to serve in the National Assembly.

No reason was given for the presidential decision but she is believed to be a victim of the ongoing feud between President Barrow and his political godfather, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe.

A letter issued on Monday to Ms Jaiteh by the Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Ebrima Camara said: “I write to convey executive decision to revoke your nomination as National Assembly Member with immediate effect.”

Ya Kumba Jaiteh

Reacting to the president’s decision, 31 members representing various political parties in the assembly said in a statement read to the media that Mr Barrow’s  does not have the power to sack any member of the Assembly.

“The president has no power or authority to dismiss any member of the National Assembly and that it is unconstitutional nor it is in the spirit of the constitution to revoke the nomination of any member of the National Assembly,” the members said.

“The National Assembly is therefore not recognising or accepting the purported revocation of Ya Kumba Jaiteh’s membership of the National Assembly and considers it null and void.”

Mr Barrow used to be an executive member of the UDP but resigned his membership to lead a coalition of opposition parties, which defeated Yahya Jammeh in the December 2016 election.

He was due to step down from power next year as part of the coalition agreement, which would pave the way for the possible election of Lawyer Darboe as president.

However, Mr Barrow has had a change of heart and is considering forming his own political party to contest future elections.