Banjul: The Secretary General, ECOWAS Parliament John Azumah has corrected the notion that the 4th Legislature operated without Rules of Procedure during its lifespan.
The Secretary General who had earlier presented a report on the activities of the 4th Legislature, made the clarification following objections raised by some Members of Parliament(MPs) at Friday’s Parliamentary Seminar held in Banjul, Gambia.
The Seminar saw the presentation of an Evaluation Report by a Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant, Mr Urok Una, which looked at areas where the parliament will be needing some improvements.
The MPs, while assessing the Evaluation Report, had alluded that it was illegal for the 4th Legislature to have carried on its sitting without the Rules of Procedure as contained in the Supplementary Act; as they called for a Draft Parliament Rules of Procedure before the commencement of the 5th Legislature.
In his contributions, an MP from Ghana, Mahama Ayariga noted that the Draft rule of Procedure ought to be handed to a Legislature during its inauguration to guide their activities on the floor of the parliament throughout its tenure.
“At the inauguration of the Legislature is when the Rule of Procedure should be adopted. It is in the Supplementary Act. So if we want to correct it, it means that here in the Gambia we must put together a team to come out with some draft Rules of Procedure, so that when we convene at the inaugural session of the 5th Legislature, we have some working draft to be considered and adopted”, he said. “This will give us some credibility; otherwise we will be perpetuating more illegality”.
In his response, the Secretary General of Parliament pointed out that there was indeed Draft Rules of Procedure, which had been adopted by the MPs, until there was a need for review.
Mr Azumah noted that to that end, the Speaker of the Parliament constituted a Committee to come up with a new Rules of Procedure but that committee failed to come up with an amended Rules of Procedure.
“And as regards a Rules Committee as was suggested, we are thinking that this will be part of the 5th Legislature; we may not need to have a Rules Committee from this (4th) Legislature, we would definitely have a Rules Committee once the 5th Legislature is inaugurated”.