January 27, 2020
Outgoing Speaker of the fourth legislature of the Community Parliament, Mustapha Cisse Lo at the opening of the last extraordinary meeting in Gambia has said every country has a sovereign right to choose how it runs its government and there should not be interference from the ECOWAS Commission.

According to the Speaker, there are some countries where the mandate is not limited, and mentioned Cameroon as an example. He thus advised that such countries should be left to alter their constitutions based on their terms.

“All constitutions can be reviewed and adapted to fit the realities of their times; that is why I say ECOWAS cannot make any pronouncements to limit mandates to more than two terms. That is not for ECOWAS to determine”.

He however contradicted himself and said the tenure of Heads of States of West African States should be limited to two terms.

This drew a sharp reaction from the Community lawmakers who rejected the speakers view resulting in the Speaker making a sharp u turn and appologising to the lawmakers and retracted his earlier views.

He further pointed out that the Community lawmakers may not like his comments but these are issues that are springing up in the media, and he needed to give his opinion on them.

Speaker Cisse Lo in his address also thanked the good people of Gambia for  their support in hosting the extraordinary meeting  and sympathized with  the Speaker and a member of the Gambia delegation who were bereaved.

In addition, he  noted that he had engaged a team of experts to produce a detailed and complete report on the activities and performances of the fourth legislature under his tenure, which would be published in a form of a book and widely distributed.

“I would like to express my readiness to make my contribution whenever necessary to the continued construction of our regional integration, which cannot be consolidated without a strong respected Parliament”, he added.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com/Banjul