Credible sources close to The Alkamba Times have confirmed the nomination of the new Speaker of the national assembly, deputy speaker, and three other nominees from last weekend’s parliamentary election.
Sources close to the National People’s Party (NPP) say veteran parliamentarian and former majority leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta has been nominated as the new speaker of the house, while Seedy Njie, former nominated member, and one-time information minister has been named as deputy speaker of the national assembly.
Our source also confirmed the nomination of Fatoumatta Jawara, Maimuna Ceesay -Darboe, and Kebba Lang Fofana as members of the national assembly set to be sworn in on Thursday.
Under the Gambian constitution, the President of the Republic is vested with powers to nominate five members to the fifty-three (53), elected national assembly members.
Our TAT Reporter in Banjul spoke with a former Parliamentarian to enquire whether the nomination of any of the nominees can be challenged by minorities in the house.
The former Parliamentarian, who chose to remain anonymous disclosed that the nomination of members to various positions of responsibility is usually agreed on before any disclosure is made, adding that once the Chief Justice presides over the swearing of the Speaker, legislative matters are their responsibility to process.
The former lawmaker further explained that the process of selecting the deputy speaker and other nominated members cannot be blocked by the minority based on set assembly rules, and similarly, the majority cannot stop the nomination of the minority leader as dictated by procedural rules.
Meanwhile, according to one senior staff of the national assembly,the deputy clerk of the National Assembly has refuted the alleged appointments of Fabakary Tombong Jatta and Seedy Njie as Speaker and Deputy Speaker by President Barrow.
“It is erroneous to report that the President has nominated or appointed a Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly – that’s false in law! What is acceptable, accurate and factual in law is that the President nominates 5 as members of the National Assembly. That’s the language of section 88 of the Constitution.Who becomes a Speaker and DS is a matter for all members to decide at the first sitting of Parliament after a general election. The president has no power neither to nominate nor to appoint a Speaker and Deputy Speaker,” deputy cleark is quoted as saying.