Saturday, December 4, 2021

Could A Convict Be Elected To Public Office?


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The first elected office is that of the President. The Constitution came into force on 16 January 1997. Section 62 subsection (3) of the Constitution states:

“(3)   A person who, while holding public office in The Gambia  –

 (b)   has been found guilty of any criminal offence by any court or tribunal established by law; or

(c)    has been found liable for misconduct, negligence, corruption or improper behaviour by any commission or committee of inquiry established by law shall not be qualified for election as President.”

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In the case of the National Assembly section 90(1) of the Constitution stipulates:

“(1)  No person is qualified for election as a member of  the National Assembly if he or she –

…. (c) is under sentence of death imposed on him or her by any court, or is serving, or within five years of his or her nomination for election completed serving, a sentence of imprisonment for a term exceeding six months imposed on him or her by a court or substituted by competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him or her by a court, and has not received a free pardon.”

Regarding mayors, mayoresses, chairpersons and councillors section 17 subsection (3) of the Local Government Act states:

“A person shall not qualify to be elected or nominated as a member of a Council if he or she –

…. (b) has been sentenced to death or imprisonment for an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or violence or has been convicted of an offence relating to or connected with elections under any enactment in force in The Gambia at the time….”

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