His Excellency, President Adama Barrow described as “unfortunate” the National Assembly’s weekend vote against the extension of the State of Public Emergency on Covid 19.
The President decried the failure of the National Assembly resolution to carry the votes required to extend the state of public emergency. Just 23 members of the National Assembly voted in favour of an extension, while 25 members voted against it.
“This is the time that we must all come together as a nation, and put the interest of the country first and high above politics. This is about all of us as a people bound by a common destiny. It is a period to show our political maturity as a democratic society capable of putting all narrow interests aside for the national interest,” he said in a national statement broadcast this evening.
The 1997 Constitution empowered the National Assembly, provided it with the responsibility “under these circumstances” to support the Government’s efforts to combat Covid-19 under Section 34(5).
With regret, he added, the August Assembly failed to act on its powers.
“As a result, my Government and I owe it to the people of this country to protect them from this grave danger. It is my duty to act, and it amounts to a deadly abdication of responsibility if I fail to take the right action in the face of an obvious threat to the lives of our people,” the President said.
In light of this, he invoked the powers conferred on him by Section 34(6) of the 1997 Constitution to further declare by proclamation published in the gazette, effective today, 19th May 2020, a state of public emergency continues to exist in the whole of The Gambia.
Since the National Assembly is no longer in session, this state of public emergency shall last for 21 days in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Constitution.