In many countries in our Sub-region, a term limit has been established for the Presidency. Hence there is no motivation to use the law to promote self-perpetuating rule. Secondly, in many countries political parties receive state funding and have access to the state and private media to put their views and policies across.
In the Gambia there is neither a term limit for the Presidency nor are political parties funded by the state. Opposition parties do not have access to the state media outside the election campaign period.
To add insult to injury, National Assembly members receive basic salary of 6045 Dalasi per month, yet the amendment intends to impose a non-refundable deposit of 100,000 Dalasi for candidates contesting National Assembly elections.
Councillors receive basic income amounting to 1500 dalasi per month, yet the amendment intends to impose a non-refundable fee of 10, 000 Dalasi for candidates contesting council seats.
It is clear that no person in his right frame of mind would sacrifice 10, 000 Dalasi and shoulder all campaign expenses just to stand to be a councillor.
The aim of the Bill is to discourage opposition participation in electoral contest.