Why I Commend Hon Sallah

Heated debates – even sometimes scuffles — are part and parcel of parliamentary work. It just shows the extent of contesting for the just means of sharing the national cake.

Kicking out a democratically elected lawmaker should be an utmost exception and not the rule.

With all due respect to Hon. Madam Speaker Mariam Jack-Denton, I think such tools should not be used in such instances. And definitely not in a nurturing democratic process like ours.

Even though I am of a different political leaning, Mr. Sallah’s refusal to leave the hall is commendable. It would have shone a bad light on the Gambia’s democratic process and would have even set a bad regrettable PRECEDENT. Evidently the solidarity of the other lawmakers – notably from the UDP, is a testimony to the utmost exceptional situation that must arise to apply the rule of sending a lawmaker packing. Solidarity in defence of truth is essential everywhere, parliament being no exception.

As we acknowledge the normality of the recent fracas in the national assembly plenum, we are all the more satisfied that an amicable resolution of the situation was worked out within the four corners of the assembly hall. It is worth it to go to the cliff in the interest of the Gambia. The art of democratic dispensation lies in ensuring that at the end of the quarrel, level heads prevail and that furtherance of public interest is brought back to the fore. This is what makes democracy the best system of governance.

Kemo Kinteh


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