By Ramatoulie Jawo
Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, Speaker of the 6th Legislature on Monday ruled that incomplete Bills under the 5th Legislature may be reintroduced by the Ministers in charge.
The development came after Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Abdoulie Ceesay and member for Old Yundum, raised the matter in a point of order under Standing Orders 18 and 32.
“We are aware that there were several Bills introduced by government in the Fifth Legislature. However, some of these bills were unable to complete the legislative stages before the dissolution of the said Legislature on the 13th April, 2022,” he said.
Hon. Ceesay who is the Chairperson of the Standing Orders Committee of the National Assembly stated that the Assembly is confronted with a procedural issue wherein the Standing Orders are silent on incompleteBills of the previous parliament.
Since the Standing Orders do not expressly provide for the scenario in their parliamentary procedure and process; he further invited the Hon. Speaker to invoke his discretionary powers under Standing Order 8 to guide the Assembly about the consequences for unfinished parliamentary businesses in the dissolved National Assembly (the Fifth Legislature); especially Bills, bearing in mind the convention that a National Assembly cannot bind its successor Assembly.
Then Speaker Tombong Jatta ruled that the incomplete Bills reintroduced would continue from where they stopped.