DEBATE ON CABINET FORMATION UNFOLDING

According to section 76(1) of the constitution the president of the republic possesses executive power:

The executive power of The Gambia is vested in the President and, subject to this Constitution, shall be exercised by him or her directly or through the Vice-President, Ministers or officers responsible to him or her.”

Section 73 provides for the establishment of cabinet which comprises the president, the vice president and the ministers of state. It is the duty of the president to appoint a vice president and ministers of state, who are to be responsible for exercising direction and control over the ministries. Such appointments are to be done on the basis of merit.

The executive under the coalition however is being confronted with the aspirations of coalition members for posts which would make it very difficult to fill all posts after carefully weighing the professional capacity and experience of the substantive holders. This takes a real balancing act and effort has to be done to ensure the decision made would entrust responsibilities to competent persons with the relevant qualifications or experience.

The members of the coalition should try to be reasonable and not to impose undue influence on the president and sway him from adhering to standards in giving cabinet appointments. At the end of the day he will be blamed for not doing the right thing.