Elections (Amendment) Bill Still Hanging

Muhammad Bah

The proposed Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2015 which is scheduled to be tabled before the National Assembly by Hon Abdoulie Bojang-Speakerthe Secretary General and Minister for Presidential Affairs was withdrawn from the order paper at the sitting yesterday, Tuesday, 30 June.

Making the announcement before the deputies, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Abdoulie Bojang, said the tabling of the Bill is re-scheduled for Tuesday, 7 July 2015. No reason was advanced as to why the bill was not tabled.

The order paper which was circulated earlier indicated the tabling of two bills including the Independent Electoral Commission (Amendment) Act Bill, 2015. However, this order paper was eventually withdrawn and replaced by the one that scheduled the Industrial Property Act (Amendment) Bill 2015 as the only matter for debate.

This is the second time that this controversial bill has failed to be tabled for debate by the law makers at the National Assembly. The first attempt was last Tuesday, when the deputy speaker, Fatou Mbye, who chaired the session, adjourned the sitting to 30 June without making any mention of the bill.

The nation is waiting for the outcome of this bill which has generated so much controversy from political opponents and pundits, who largely view it as a move by the ruling APRC party to stifle the opposition parties in the Gambia as the country heads for a presidential election in 2016.