Sunday, September 15, 2019

New Councils On An Old Foundation


The National Assembly adjourned on Tuesday without passing any Bill amending section 20 of the Local Government Act which gives the president power to remove a mayor/mayoress, chairperson or councillor from office. This provision enabled the former president to hire and fire chairpersons or mayors at will and put the councils under his control contrary to the requirement of section 193 of the Constitution which states:

“Local government administration in The Gambia shall be based on a system of democratically elected councils with a high degree of local autonomy.”

The demand of New Gambia is the devolution of power and empowerment of the people.

Section 20 of the Local Government Act is one of those provisions that need repeal. What needs retention is section 22 which provides for removal by the electorate. Subsection (1) of this section states that a mayor/mayoress, Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson or elected councillor “may be removed by the electorate.”

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