Speaker Fabakarry Tombong Jatta has overruled the Point of Order raised by Hon. Sulayman Saho, the National Assembly Member (NAM) for Central Badibou for President Adama Barrow to attend the debate following his (president) State of the Nation Address on Thursday 15 September 2022.
The NAMs are expected to debate on a litany of issues regarding different sectors of the economy as highlighted by President Barrow in his address.
The Central Badibou lawmaker raised the Point of Order while colleague legislators remained seated as Speaker Jatta was about to adjourn the proceedings to next week Monday.
“Before I could be questioned honourable members, may I kindly remind all guests to remain seated to allow His Excellency, the president, to take leave of the chambers, to be followed by the vice president and others,” Speaker Jatta said.
“Point of order, Hon. Speaker,” the United Democratic Party NAM for Central Baddibou said: “I would like to thank the president for fulfilling his constitutional mandate; under Point 24, Clause 2, I want to use your humble office; in addition, the Assembly may request the president to attend the sitting of the Assembly for the discussion of a matter of national importance.”
“I want you to use your office to request for the president to attend our debate if it is possible with him, as we are trying to promote democracy for the first time in our history… we would love that, if you can make that request,” he added.
“Thank you, honourable member. It is unfortunate that was not a Point of Order,” the speaker said.
However, the Central Baddibou NAM insisted: “is a Point of Order. Point of orders are legally raised on issues of procedures.”
“Honourable member, a Point of Order as stated is for one doing something contrary to the standing orders of the constitution,” Speaker Jatta said in his bid to clarify. “You are making a suggestion or you are making a comment? That is not a Point of Order.”
Hon. Sulayman Saho, however, insisted that he was not making comment but a Point of Order.”
“Hon. Member, your Point of Order is ruled out. Please, allow me to continue… I don’t want to repeat it Hon.Member.”
Hon. Saho insisted that the speaker should hear him. However, the speaker insisted that the NAM sit down.
“You shouldn’t be authoritative to tell me plainly sit down. We are not in a classroom, we are in a parliament,” the NAM contended.
Further, the speaker opined that responsible parliamentarians are guided by rules, repeating that the point of order “is ruled out.”
Speaker Jatta stood firm on his earlier decision, reminding all guests to remain seated to kindly allow the president leave. He adjourned the assembly to Monday, 19 September 2022.