DID FOROYAA MAKE A MISTAKE BY INDICATING THAT THE PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS IS SCHEDULED FOR 20TH INSTEAD OF 24TH JULY?

QUESTION OF THE DAY

A serious error indeed! The caption in Issue No. 127, 2017 under QUESTION OF THE DAY does not tally with the content of the article which mentioned that the state of the nation address is scheduled for 24th July 2017.

This address is constantly referred to as ‘state opening of parliament’. This has injected some confusion in the public space. Parliament is already sitting and is in fact holding its second session after the inaugural session. What then does it mean to talk about the state opening of parliament. It does not have any meaning if one considers the facts on the ground.

Under the 1997 Constitution there is nothing like state opening of parliament. In fact there is separation of powers. The provision that provides for presidential address to the nation is section 77 subsection (1). It reads:

“(1)  The President shall at least once in each year attend a sitting of the National Assembly and address a session on the condition of The Gambia, the policies of the Government and the administration of the State.”

This is why President Barrow has chosen 24 July 2017 to address the National Assembly. This is how matters stand.

All conscious Gambians should abandon this claim that the president’s address constitutes state opening of parliament.