- Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has named Ms Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay as the new Speaker of parliament. Ms Jahumpa-Ceesay is a leading figure of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic, Reorientation and Construction party of President Jammeh.
She becomes the second woman and third person to hold the post of speaker in The Gambia's second republic. Her predecessor, Ms Belinda Bidwell, held the post from April to January 2006 after the sacking of Sheriff Mustapha Dibba in the aftermath of the 21 March purported coup.
A press statement issued by the Gambian Foreign Affairs Ministry stated that Ms Jahumpa-Ceesay's nomination as a member of parliament and subsequent appointment were effectuated by President Jammeh, which was in accordance with provisions of the Gambian constitution.
A daughter of a deceased Gambian political leader, Ibrahim Garba-Jahumpa, Ms Jahumpa-Ceesay alias FJC, has served as a press secretary to President Jammeh. Her half brother, Bala Garba-Juhumpa, is the country's current Foreign Affairs Minister.
Ms Jahumpa-Ceesay was a nominated member of the outgoing parliament. She sat as a member of the ECOWAS parliament as well.
President Jammeh also nominated four others to parliament - Bala Musa Sanyang, chief of Foni Brefet, Sidi Njie, President of the National Patriotic Students Association (NAPSA), Ms Tina Faal and Ms Olie Sey, both from Banjul.
The new parliament, which consist of 53 members, will be inaugurated in a ceremony presided over by the Chief Justice, Abdul Karim Savage, on 8 February. The ruling APRC party scored an overwhelming majority in the last parliamentary polls, in which it lost only six seats to the opposition.
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