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Lawmakers reject Pres. Barrow’s pick for ombudsman


The lawmakers have on Friday rejected the appointment of Babucarr A. Suwareh, President Adama Barrow’s choice for the position of the office of the ombudsman.

Suwareh was appointed by President Barrow in consultation with the public service commission. His appointment which was put before lawmakers on December 18 to be approved by the lawmakers.

The lawmakers passed Suwareh’s appointment to the Public Appointment Committee of the National Assembly for scrutiny. The Committee which is chaired by Samba Jallow concluded that he is not qualified for the job.

Majority of lawmakers agreed to the committee’s recommendations which was handed to vice President Isatou Touray who was present during the session.

Samba Jallow said though the laws said an ombudsman must have substantive administrative and professional qualification, any appointment to the role must consider a person’s knowledge in law and investigations.

“The entire work of the Ombudsman deals with investigation and complaints; it deals with legal work…,” said Jallow.

“…That is why we think a person who should be appointed as an ombudsman should have a legal mind. That is common sense… This is not about rejecting for the sake of it. We want the President to nominate the right person.’

However, Isatou Touray, the vice president, has disagreed with the position of the lawmakers. She said Suwareh was the right pick.

“To say that he is not qualify, I said no… He is qualified. He has 33 years of experience within the education system…,” argued Touray.

Her argument could not convince the lawmakers who rejected Suwareh’s appointment and asked for the President to choose the ‘right person’.

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