President Adama Barrow is holding on to hopes that newly elected representatives to the National Assembly will focus on the agenda of building strong institutions, which are a key part of his reform program.
The absence of strong institutions entrenched Yahya Jammeh for two decades, giving him absolute power and control over the government, including the legislature and the judiciary.
“Our NAMs will demonstrate maturity, respect for each other as well as focus on the agenda to build a strong foundation for future governments to build on. This will give citizens the liberty to enjoy their freedom with dignity and within the rule of law,” said Mr. Barrow.
Two opposition parties, the APRC and the GDC have rejected the outcome of the parliamentary elections but Barrow hopes that their parliamentarians will act in the best of the country instead of partisan politics.
Barrow, however, has the much-needed support in parliament to pass his reform agenda. The UDP, the party from which Barrow resigned to lead the coalition government, won an absolute majority with 31 seats.
Barrow additionally appointed five other members, including the Speaker of the House, to consolidate his support in the parliament. The new leader hopes lawmakers will take a bipartisan approach when making decisions in the House.
One parliamentarian, Halifa Sallah has been spotting some of the faults of new legislators. He had refused to take the oath of office over the gazetting of the first sitting of the parliament and warned clapping in parliament is not allowed.
Sallah had declined cabinet positions and resigned from being an advisor to the president to regain his Serrekunda seat that he lost a decade ago. He is sure not to make sure the New Gambia’s parliament is not a rubber stamp House of Representatives.