Point of Interest

New National Assembly Building

Gambia / Africa

The National Assembly of the Gambia is the unicameral legislature of the Gambia. The authorisation for the National Assembly lies in Chapter VII of the Constitution. It is composed of 53 members, directly elected through first past the post, and a further five members appointed by the President.

Legislative representation, based on universal adult suffrage in the Gambia, began in May 1962 when elections were held for a 32-seat House of Representatives. These elections were won by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) which was led by Dawda Jawara. After Independence in 1965 the PPP continued to dominate the House of Representatives by winning a series of free, democratic elections. Jawara’s government was overthrown in a July 1994 military coup led by Yahya Jammeh. The constitution and all elected institutions, including the House of Representatives, were dissolved. After the coup, political party activities were banned. The ban was lifted in August 1996 following the approval of a new constitution, but three Jawara-era parties – the PPP, Gambian People’s Party (GPP), and the National Convention Party (NCP) remained proscribed.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) lifted the ban on the PPP, GPP, and NCP in August 2001, five months before the next scheduled legislative election. On 7 April 2017 the IEC announced that UDP had won a majority of 31 seats out of 53 available during the 2017 legislative elections.

The New National Assembly Building is where the Gambian parties meet.

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