Councils Beat Gambia Gov’t at Court Amid Power Shift

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Councils top officials at the court

By: Foday Manneh

The Supreme Court of The Gambia has ruled in favor of the Mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), Talib Ahmed Bensouda, and 55 other Chairpersons and Councillors across the country.

The Supreme Court decision comes after the Councils dragged the State to Court — in a case challenging several executive powers under the local government act.

Tuesday’s Court ruling made the following decisions regarding the case; Local government and municipal Councils will no longer be dissolved three months after elections, Local Government elections will now be held every four (4) years instead of 5 years from April 2023, and the Local Government Minister will no longer have to permit Mayors and Councillors before they could travel outside the country for official missions.

The apex courts verdict means The President can no longer appoint an interim committee to oversee the Councils three (3) months before elections.

The Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has scheduled the country’s upcoming local government elections from April to May 2023.

Reacting to the verdict, KMC Mayor Talib Bensuoda said: ” Today myself and 55 other Chairmen and Councillors obtained a judgment in the Supreme court where the Supreme Court in its wisdom has declared: That municipal councils shall no longer be dissolved 3 months before elections.”

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