Hon. Mariam Jack Denton
Speaker of the House
The Speaker is the first officer of the House. He/she is one of the three prominent officers of the State, ranking third in the official order of precedence after the President and the Vice 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. Since then all Constitutions of the land have provided for the election of the Speaker of the Legislature.
The Third Republican Constitution provides that the Speaker shall preside in Parliament at all Sittings and in his/her absence, a Deputy Speaker. In the discharge of his/her numerous responsibilities and in the exercise of the powers vested in him/her, the Speaker is expected to be impartial and does not take part in debates on the floor of the House. Behind the scenes, he/she exercises considerable influence in forging consensus on major issues, while fairly and firmly enforcing order and consistently applying the established practices of the House.
As head of the Parliamentary Institution and Chairperson of the Parliamentary Service Board, the Speaker bears ultimate responsibility for the Parliamentary Service.