Sunday, March 26

GALGA asks IEC to compel gov’t to postpone commission of enquiry

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

The message was conveyed to the media via a press conference organised on Thursday at the council.

Reading a statement by GALGA, Landing B. Sanneh, president of the association and chairperson of Mansakonko Area Council, said the President had said there is no Council in The Gambia that has not been subjected to or can avoid the above scrutiny. There is therefore no logical basis or reason for the President to establish a Commission of Inquiry to look into the conduct of Councils when all the information that could be required is available and already in the hands of the Government and the Public.

He went on: “There is no stated reason the Commission should be established and run during the election calendar of Local Governments. There is also no reason why it was not established for the past 5 years or cannot be established after elections.”

Mr Sanneh said that as elected officials they welcome public scrutiny and believe transparency and accountability are necessary, “not only to allow the public to participate and be aware of local government administration, but also to provide us with guidance and assistance to increase efficiency of our various councils but the enquiry has come at a wrong time”.

He added: “Violations of ECOWAS Protocols in principle we have no issue with objective and impartial investigations. However,  the timing violates Article I(i) of the Protocol which guarantees the freedom of political parties to participate freely and without hindrance or discrimination in any electoral process.

“The Enactment of a Commission of Inquiry immediately before an election violates the spirit of Article 2 which provides: ‘No substantial modification shall be made to the electoral laws in the last six (6) months before the elections, except with the consent of a majority of Political actors’.,”

He urged the central government to respect its international obligations and withdraw the Commission in the interest of peace, stability and adherence to the principles of good governance and political freedom.