By Muhammad Bah
The National Assembly of The Gambia has adopted, in a whole committee
of the house, yesterday, 5 March, 2015 the report on the Common
Principles for Support to Parliaments passed during the 195th session
of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Governing Council held in Geneva,
Switzerland.Presenting the report, Hon. Netty Baldeh, National Assembly Member
(NAM) for Tumana constituency, said a well structured and resourced
parliament is essential to a vibrant democracy, maintaining peace,
upholding the rule of law and human rights, gender equality,
increasing economic prosperity and promoting social justice.
He said parliament’s growing legislative, oversight and
representational responsibilities in these areas mean that all
citizens have a vital stake in the institution.
Hon. Baldeh told his colleagues that the issue of how to enhance
international democratic parliamentary standards to enable democratic
parliaments to maintain international standards was key during the
session. He said the idea was vigorously put across participants and
it was accepted that this concept is applicable while respecting the
wide variety of traditions across the world.
“It is a strong desire on the part of parliaments to develop their
capacities in response to the growing expectations of the people for
more efficient and effective service from their representative and
this primacy needs to be acknowledged in all support work. Democracy
in its widest sense, however, is a world community and its therefore
appropriate that parliaments should be able to draw appropriate,
excellent, external technical support from an international community
with a common interest and stake in the functioning of all key
democratic institutions. This common purpose provides the rationale
for parliamentary support,” said Hon. Baldeh.
Deputy speaker, Hon. Fatou Mbye seconded the motion, adding that the
role and function of parliament is to scrutinize, legislate and make
budget appropriation. She stressed that parliament needs timely and
adequate support to perform its obligations to the people.
By Muhammad Bah