THE END OF THE DEBATE ON MONARCHY IN THE GAMBIA

The decision by some National Assembly members to call on the opposition in the Gambia to support the idea of transforming the President into a monarch is rather unfortunate. We hope the last session would be the last time such an issue would ever be mentioned again in the National Assembly.

In the Gambia the principle of one person one vote is what obtains from the president down. All are equal in sovereignty. A sovereign person could lead only by deriving his or her authority from the consent of other sovereign citizens. This is the type of system the vast majority has chosen to live under through a referendum.

All progressive Gambians should promote such Republican and Democratic values. The Executive, the National Assembly, the Judiciary, the public agencies and the people should adhere to the directive principles expressed in the constitution.

Section 214 states: “The Gambia shall be a democratic state dedicated to

freedom, peace, progress, prosperity and justice.

(2) The people shall express their will and consent as to who shall govern them and how they shall be governed, through regular, free and fair elections of their representatives.

(3) The State shall be guided by the principles of Decentralisation and devolution of governmental functions and powers to the people at appropriate levels of control to facilitate democratic governance.

(4) In the composition of the Government, women shall be fairly represented.

(5) The Government, with due regard to the principles of an open and democratic society, shall foster accountability and transparency at all levels of government.

There is no room for a monarchy in the Gambia. All progressive Gambians should take note of the historical fact that people’s land, sea and sovereign national wealth should be managed by people’s representatives. It is this historic battle for people’s power which made countries to move from the reign of absolute monarchs to constitutional monarchs which limited the absolute and arbitrary authority of kings and then the movement towards Republics which abolished MONARCHS or KINGS.

Those who aim to restore monarchs after Republics are born on the wrong side of history like Bokassa. He spent Millions of dollars to be crowned Emperor. He eventually became a destitute in France and had to receive a pardon in order to come back to the Central Africa Republic. The lack of adherence to Republican and Democratic values had shattered the country on religious and ethnic lines.

What could make Africa great is if its leaders and people embrace Republican and Democratic values and transform it into the first continent that is poverty, tyranny and monarch free. That would be an epoch making development which would endear the continent to the people of the world and make it a source of inspiration and emulation.