Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Lawmakers Consider Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2020

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Committee of the Whole of the Legislature, in accordance with standing order 70-73 finally considered the Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2020 without amendment.

The motion to amend the said Bill was tabled before the Legislature by the Member for Lower Badibu, Alagie Jawara on Thursday 2nd July 2020 for scrutiny, consideration and adoption.

Jawara told lawmakers that the sole object of the bill is to amend the Local
Government Act by deleting paragraph (G) of section 19(1) of the Act paragraph.

He said, “the bill seeks to grant independence to the members of the area councils from their respective parties and party leaders and to further enhance the system of Local Governance autonomy, freedom of speech and debate in accordance with section 193 of the 1997 Constitution”.

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Sana Jawara, Member for Upper Fuladu, raised a point of order that on standing order 63(2) and (3), and said the bill has not fulfilled the obligatory processes and thus should not be entertained in the legislature.

He said the bill does not fulfill the requirement of publishing on media outlets and that it did not contain a clause to saving rights of associations, persons and corporate bodies, as stipulated in section 63(3).

Deputy Speaker, Momodou LK Sanneh, told Upper Fulladou MP that the requirement of section 63(2) has been met as the said bill was published in the Foroyaa Newspaper, Standard Newspaper and The Point Paper.

Furthermore, Deputy Speaker Sanneh also clarified to Hon. Jawara that the bill will not retract the right of anybody. DS Sanneh thus moved that the bill be read for the third time and be repealed without amendment, after having gone through the consideration of the committee of the whole house.

He said, “The third reading will be scheduled by the Assembly Business Committee within the next three working days which falls on Friday 17th July 2020”.

In a related development, the Assembly also debated on the general merits and principles of the Criminal Offences and Criminal Procedure Bills 2020. All the bills have been referred to the Assembly Business Committee for scrutiny and advice to the plenary.

Sitting continues tomorrow Tuesday 14th July 2020 at 10: 00 am prompt.

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