These concerns by GALGA were revealed in a letter sent to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the National Assembly select committee on local government, the Ombudsman and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The letter, obtained by this medium, states: “It is with great disappointment and concern that we write to bring to your attention recent actions taken by the President of the Republic of The Gambia that violate the constitutional rights of the undersigned as well as over 100 Councillors in Local Government in The Gambia.”
GALGA further emphasised that the said actions by central government also violate ECOWAS Protocol A/SP1/12/01 on Democracy and Good Governance Supplementary to the Protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security; and risk destabilizing the country as well as other international norms and obligations of the Government of The Gambia.
“Unfortunately, the President, in purported exercise of his constitutional powers, established a Commission of Inquiry into the Conduct of All Local Government Councils and Connected Matters. Enclosed is a copy of the Commission Gazette which as you can see will span the three-month election window. There is no stated reason why 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,” GALGA states in the letter.
As elected officials, GALGA states further, they welcome public scrutiny and believe transparency and accountability is 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 the efficiency of our various councils.