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Former Lawmaker Ya Kumba’s replacement, Gassama, takes oath


Foday Gassama said he is still a member of the United Democratic Party despite increased tension between the party and President Adama Barrow. Barrow has fired the party’s leader Ousainou Darboe and two other ministers belonging to the party on Friday.

Foday Gassama, the proposed replacement of the United Democratic Party executive member whose nomination into the National Assembly has been revoked by President Adama Barrow has taken oath of office on Monday.

Ya Kumba Jaiteh, one of the five people nominated into the lawmaking body by President Barrow, had been sacked by the Gambian leader about three weeks ago.

The firing caused huge controversy with claims and counter claims over its constitutionality or otherwise from lawyers and human rights activists.

The Gambia Bar Association described the President’s decision as unconstitutional and called for it to be nullified. Ya Kumba took a motion to the Supreme Court seeking the apex court to nullify the decision of the President and also declare it as unconstitutional.

While that lawsuit is yet to be determined by the Supreme Court, Ya Kumba’s lawyers have asked for an injunction to restraint the Clerk of the National Assembly Momodou Ceesay and Speaker Mariama Denton from swearing in Gassama.

However, in a ruling on Friday, the apex court refused the request for an injunction. It grants the lawmaking body the go-ahead to swear in Gassama and restrained Ya Kumba from interfering in the process.

On Monday Gassama took oath, effectively becoming a lawmaker pending the outcome of the case before the apex court determining the constitutionality of the President’s decision.

The Supreme Court said its decision is premised on the “presumption” that all official acts are legal. Thus it was logical that it allows the President’s decision to stand pending the outcome of the case.

However, if the Supreme Court determines in the coming weeks that the actions of the President is illegal and thus nullify it, Gassama will vacate his seat and Ya Kumba will assume her office again as a lawmaker.


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