Gambia: The Importance of the National Assembly Elections

Gambians should understand the functions of their institutions so that they would be able to select representatives who are fit for purpose. The National Assembly is responsible for passing bills so that they could become laws of the land. Laws should prohibit and prevent practices and behaviours harmful to self and the community. It should also protect and promote practices and behaviours that are conducive to self and community development.

The National Assembly member is to evaluate all bills without regard to party affiliation and support those that serve the national interest. In the same vein the National Assembly members have power to ratify international agreements. In that regard there are some agreements that could compromise the sovereignty of the country or serve the interests of others at the expense of the country. A National Assembly member is supposed to go against any agreement that is likely to be derogatory to the sovereignty of the country or undermines the national interest.

A National Assembly member is supposed to be a member of a National Assembly committee that is supposed to scrutinize the activities of the government and parastatals. They are supposed to do so regardless of partisan interest.

Hence anybody who promotes the idea that a National Assembly member should belong to a particular party before he/she could perform effectively and efficiently must be considered a political illiterate. Gambians should combat political illiteracy.

Most propagandists of many political parties are in control of the narratives of the functions of our institutions. Media houses are supposed to published or broadcast what is the truth in good faith and in the public interest. It is surprising that media practitioners will conduct programmes that would allow propagandists to mislead the public on the functions of our institutions without rebuttals or at least issuing disclaimers.