Gambia: National Assembly Session Starts Today

The National Assembly is to sit from the 11th to the 27th of September. It is gathered that the President will address the National Assembly on the 19th of September. This will be his third address.

Many expected the address to be given at the beginning of the legislative year in the form of a state of the nation address aimed at highlighting the legislative programme of the government and the priorities identified to promote socio-economic development. For the first time in Gambian history, two agendas are competing for top priority, namely, the environmental and political agendas.

One would expect that the President will come out clearly to state in no uncertain terms what he conceives as his constitutional mandate. He has the prerogative to serve a Coalition mandate of three years under the Constitution or a full five-year mandate under the Constitution. Either action is constitutional.

All eyes and ears will be glued on the President to find out what his position is on the mandate and the reason for taking such position. This will enable the public to make up their mind since vociferous divergent views are being expressed. At this material time, the Gambian people need to have closure on this subject. He is the only one who can ensure that conclusions are reached and positions taken without any doubt as to what he has decided to do.

On the other hand, the state of our ocean, wetland and forests is of fundamental concern. One could say the debate raises questions of the very survival of people living in our coastland and the wetlands and a serious threat of deforestation. Global warming is seen as having impact on the weather patterns of The Gambia. No serious government could ignore this development. Of course, the challenges of a youthful population cannot be left in any presidential deliberation.

Foroyaa will monitor the speech and publish it verbatim.

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