The executive and the legislature are supposed to work to make the laws and scrutinize the implementation of the policies for which should promote the prosperity and general welfare of the people as required by the constitution. President Barrow gave his first address to the national assembly on Monday 24 July 2017.


The speech is now being serialized by Foroyaa. It is important for Foroyaa to also cover the speeches of the national assembly members who were most critical of the president’s speech so that the public would have a balanced perspective of what is expected of the presidency at the legislature as they work together to build a new Gambia.

In addressing the national assembly, Halifa Sallah the member for Serrekunda indicated that impunity could only be a thing of the past as President Barrow promised if self-perpetuating rule is made history. He said that President Barrow should have told the Gambian people that his election made history by marking the first transfer of power from one president to another through the ballot box after 52 years of nationhood. He added that President Barrow should have made history by telling the National Assembly that the new government will pioneer constitutional changes that will introduce the two term limit to the office of president and thus put an end to self perpetuating rule.

Halifa Sallah said that the president should have added that his government will further promote constitutional amendment to restore the absolute majority principle in the election of president and bringing back the possibility of the second round of voting. He added that the president should have also given commitment to constitutional reform where elections should take place within three months when the office of president becomes vacant either by resignation or any other cause. He stated among other things that he expected the president to come up with a development blueprint to replace PAGE 2017 to 2020 of the previous government.

The rest of the remarks made by Halifa Sallah will be published verbatim alongside the speech of the president so that the readers will have a balanced view of how the national assembly could help influence the presidency in managing the affairs of the state.

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Foroyaa Newspaper, 28.07.2017



Hon. Ousman Sillah, the Member for Banjul North said President Barrow’s National Assembly address would have outlined a Governance Framework or plans of his government.

Hon. Sillah made these remarks during a continuation debate by law makers, on Thursday 27 July, 2017, on the Speech of the President in his just concluded Nation Address.

He underscored that there are lots of expectations on the governance framework that empowers Gambians to be able to live normal lives and realize their aspirations. Hon. Sillah added: “I was expecting that the speech would have contained a governance plan.” He pointed out that next year as the electoral cycle continues, the Gambia will be going for Local Government elections, slated for April 2018.

“As actors and actresses in the political field, we expect to see challenges experienced during the past elections, addressed,” he said.

According to Hon. Sillah, this governance framework should actually entail a legislative program on electoral reform, as we head towards local government elections, with new electoral laws that will address all challenges that Gambians were facing in past years.

“Electoral reforms would have reflected on how Gambians in the diaspora can participate in their country’s elections,” he opined.

Hon. Sillah added that all the countries within the sub region allow their citizens outside their countries to vote. He cited Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea Conakry, Mali among the many countries, as examples. He thought the president’s address would have accommodated reforms on electoral laws for the upcoming future elections.

The Banjul North NAM also said the President could have stated clearly on constitutional and institutional reforms what his government would want to achieve.

Hon. Sillah however noted that a lot of efforts have been made in the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and expectations are high.

The Banjul North MP further stated that the President could have announced the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry which he said can look into issues of those who disappeared without trace, during the former regime of Jammeh. He cited the likes of Deyda Hydara and indicated that truth and justice should prevail on their cases. Hon. Sillah underscored the importance of gaining free access to information without fear.

“The plan in that area, would have been the freedom of expression act; to have free access to information without fear, in this new democratic dispensation,” Hon Sillah pointed out.