WHAT PLANS EXIST FOR REFORM OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES?

Local government elections are scheduled to take place in April 2018, just nine months away.

According to section 193 of the Constitution “Local government administration in The Gambia shall be based on a system of democratically elected councils with a high degree of local autonomy.”

However the councils did not enjoy any form of autonomy and appeared more like an arm of central government under the rule of the former regime. This was why revenue was at one time last year been collected by the  Gambia Revenue Authority.

The former regime amended the Local Government Act to empower the president to remove a mayor, deputy mayor, chairperson or deputy chairperson, or any councillor for that matter, from office.

If the government is committed to decentralisation it will not proceed with local government elections without reviewing the Local Government Act to bring it in line with the letter and spirit of the constitution.