Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) has heavily criticised President Adama Barrow’s picks of nominated members of the national assembly.
On Wednesday 13th April 2022, the names of five nominated members selected by President Adama Barrow emerge online revealing the names of Fabakary Tombong Jatta, the former Jammeh Majority Leader, and Seedy S.K Njie, Fatoumatta Jawara, Maimuna Ceesay Darboe, and Kebba Lang Fofana as the Gambian leader’s picks.
However, less than 24hrs on Thursday, Ousainou Darboe, leader of the main opposition party in the country criticized the picks of the President, describing it as a misused of power and a mockery of the Gambian people.
Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, made this observation while addressing scores of supporters accompanying the newly elected National Assembly Member of Kombo South Constituency, Hon. Kebba K. Barrow after a resounding victory against Momodou Bojang of the National People’s Party (NPP).
“The constitution has empowered the President to nominate five members with the view that interest groups that have no representation in the assembly can be selected. We would have expected the President tell to contact the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GCCI) to give him someone who will come and advocate for the business community, this is what we have expected,” Lawyer Darboe reasons with President Barrow.
He added: ” We would have expected the President to ask the women to file in a representative but not someone who has been rejected by her constituency. Nominating such a person to the house is a disrespect and a mockery to the Gambian people, that is a misuse of power and abuse of office.”
The UDP Party Leader recalled that during the first Republic former President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara used to nominate among the Christian Community, observing that this longstanding tradition has been neglected by President Adama Barrow leaving the Christian community without representation at the national assembly.
“This is an occasion that the President should have asked the Christian community to provide him with one responsible person to be nominated into the national assembly. Not only to nominate him to the national assembly but also make him a speaker so that the Christian community can also feel that they are also part and parcel of the government,” Lawyer Darboe observed.
He said the nomination of a Christian in the national assembly will make the entire Christian community view the government as inclusive, arguing that this is not happening but rather that President Barrow is doing whatever he feels like doing.
According to him, the nomination of the published names selected by President Adama Barrow is not a good start for his second five years mandate, noting that the President’s action is not in line with Internationally accepted good practices even though there are no existing national laws that can stop him.
The Veteran Politician and an elder statesman called on President Adama Barrow to go back and rescind his decision hence there is time before the swearing-in of the members of the national assembly, observing that President Barrow’s main intention of making the picks is to show disunity in the country rather than unifying the country.
Lawyer Ousainou Darboe continued to emphasize that a UDP government would have not only nominated a Christian to be part of the national assembly with a possibility of awarding him the role of a speaker of the national assembly.
He said in 2016, he suggested the appointment of Fishery Minister James Gomez to be nominated as a speaker because Gomez could have fully represented the Christian community.
Lawyer Ousainou Darboe also draws the attention of President Adama Barrow to the good practices of 1970, a constitution that advises that a defeated candidate cannot become a nominated member of the parliament, noting that sidelining the good practices will only reduce the credibility of the democratic process of the country.