Alhagie Mbowe, the National Assembly Member for Upper Saloum
By Ramatoulie Jawo
Honorable Alhagie Mbowe, the National Assembly member for Upper Saloum, presented a private member bill to the Parliament on Thursday seeking to amend the constitution of the Republic of the Gambia.
The bill, titled the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2023, was presented to the National Assembly for its first reading. The first reading is a procedural step that allows the bill to be introduced and its basic details to be presented to the members of the Assembly.
The proposed bill aims to amend the constitution of the Republic of the Gambia by extending the timeframe within which the president, acting through the finance minister, must present the projected revenue and expenditure for the upcoming financial year to the National Assembly.
As per the bill, the current constitution, the Republic of the Gambia, 1997, mandates that the president, in conjunction with the finance minister, must submit these estimates to the National Assembly at least thirty days before the conclusion of the ongoing financial year. Subsequently, the National Assembly is required to deliberate on and approve these estimates within a fourteen-day window.
Furthermore, the bill intends to provide National Assembly members with more time for in-depth scrutiny of the estimates, enabling them to engage in more extensive consultations with stakeholders, a task currently constrained by the existing requirements.
The second reading of this bill is scheduled for Tuesday, September 12, 2023.