By Binta Jaiteh
The National Assembly Member (NAM) for Wuli East, Suwaibou Touray, trashed the Former President’s Bill, arguing that it lacked reason to deserve a certificate of urgency.
The bill seeks to repeal and replace the Former president’s office, allowances, and other benefits presented in parliament. It also proposes an annual pension and office expenses for former Presidents to maintain the dignity of the Office of the President.
“I walked out of the chambers because the former President’s Bill doesn’t deserve to be a certificate of urgency. There is no reason that the minister has advanced to show that the bill deserves a certificate of urgency,” NAM Touray told The Voice in an exclusive interview.
The Wuli NAM claimed that the President included the bill in the other bills stating that they have a certificate of urgency, arguing that the only bill that requires a certificate of urgency is the ‘Victims Reparations Bill.’
“We know that victims of human rights violations for all these last years have been sitting down to wait for their reparations. Those reparations are in many forums one is the monetary reparation, restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction, and others but this particular bill in question has no reason to advance for a certificate of urgency,” Touray contended.
The lawmaker described the bill as “very” bad since it meant taking care of the President while in office with his family and even life after the Presidency.
According to him, the bill will affect the taxpayers and the most stressful part is that a poor country like Gambia encourages such.
“Gambia is the poorest country in West Africa so if other countries are not doing this, why a poor country like Gambia where the whole world is talking about the poverty of that country,” he asked. Touray added: “I think it is unfair to sit in that parliament and formulate policies and clauses for a former President to continue to live in that extravagant life.”
NAM Touray opined that those who boycotted the session will leave the majority to do as they want but they will continue their advocacy within the population and the house to change the bad clauses.
“They are bent on moving their majority to act. They have not been reasonable with us because the idea is that the majority can have their way but the minority also can have a say anytime we vote to express ourselves, they will come up with their majority and say we don’t want to prolong the debate and they want us to be rubber stamp parliament which I resist,” MP Touray stressed.