Assembly considers appointment of WCR Governor as Ombudsman but referred matter to Appointments Committee

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Lawmakers at the National Assembly have considered the appointment of West Coast Region governor, Bakary K Sanyang as Ombudsman of the Gambia but referred the matter to the Assembly’s public appointments committee for proper scrutiny following his nomination by the president.

Earlier in December last year, deputies rejected the president’s nomination of former Ambassador to China, Babucarr A. Suwareh to the position, saying their reason was guided by applicable provisions of the Constitution, including thorough review of Mr. Suwareh’s CV and other provisions.

Vice President, Dr. Isatou Touray Monday tabled the motion for the confirmation of Mr Sanyang’s appointment before the Assembly, saying he had over 42 years’ experience in public service.

Section 164 of the Constitution mandates the President to appoint an Ombudsman in consultation with the Public Service Commission which is subject to confirmation by the National Assembly.

Lawmakers put into consideration of the dictate of the law that for a person to be appointed ombudsman, he or she must not be occupying a civil service position or be a national assembly member; a requirement that Mr Sanyang did not meet yet. He has to now resign as governor to qualify for the post.

Member for Brikama North, Alhagie S Darboe said the Assembly have noted that the person who is duly nominated for the position of ombudsman should be someone who have acquired substantial administrative and professional experience.

The position of the office of the Ombudsman is an official who holds the power to investigate allegations of mal-administration, mismanagement, corruption, discrimination and deal with human rights and protection of fundamental freedoms of the citizenry.

Member for Serrekunda, Halifa Sallah said it is very clear from section 164 that if deputies reject the first nomination for any position, they cannot reject the second one.

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