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Gambian National Assembly adopts a code of conduct for members with European Union support

June 05, 2024 • By Musa Saho
National Assembly Members, its Leadership and Staff, Resource Persons from the Irish Parliament and the Head of the International IDEA Country Office and Staff
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), in partnership with the National Assembly of The Gambia and with support from the European Union, organised a three-day Refresher Orientation on ethics in constitutional and legislative processes for National Assembly Members from 30 May to 1 June 2024.

The event, hosted at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre, aimed to review and adopt a draft Code of Conduct for the National Assembly. The programme also sought to build the capacity of National Assembly Members by providing them with essential guides and tools to enhance their conduct in fulfilling their constitutional and legislative duties.

Jainaba Faye, Head of the International IDEA Country Office, emphasised the importance of parliamentary ethics as the cornerstone of a functioning democracy. She noted that these ethics define the standards of behaviour expected from elected representatives, ensuring accountability, integrity, and respect for democratic principles. "When parliamentarians uphold ethical standards in their actions and decisions, they inspire trust and confidence in the democratic processes, demonstrating that politics can be a noble calling, driven by a commitment to public service and the greater good," she added.

H.E. Corrado Pampaloni, the European Union Ambassador to The Gambia, encouraged participants to engage deeply with the materials and to discuss and develop a robust Code of Conduct for The Gambia's National Assembly. He highlighted that this is not merely an administrative task but a foundational element of democracy. "Their commitment to ethical governance will resonate beyond these walls, reinforcing the integrity and trustworthiness of the legislative process and preparing them for the critical task of reviewing the upcoming draft Constitution," he stated.

Alhagi S. Darboe, Chairperson of the Ethics and Privileges Committee of the National Assembly, remarked on the historic significance of the sixth legislature introducing a Code of Conduct for the first time. He expressed gratitude to International IDEA and the European Union for their invaluable support in providing the Committee with a working document to ensure that parliamentary proceedings are conducted ethically and professionally, fostering adequate representation.

Finally, National Assembly Members reviewed and adopted the draft Code of Conduct, which will be tabled on the floor of Parliament on 24th June 2024 for consideration and approval. The National Assembly Members pledged their cooperation and called for the full implementation of the document, underscoring their commitment to maintaining high ethical standards in their legislative roles.

About the authors

Musa Saho
Communications Officer, The Gambia
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