National Assembly Adopts Motion for Creation of New Districts

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Gambia National Assembly, on Tuesday, June 20th adopted a motion that seeks the creation of two new Districts in the West Coast Region.

Tabling the motion, the Lands Minister, Abba Sanyang, told the assembly that these creations are in line with the re-demarcation of constituencies order, 2015, by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

He reminded the assembly that the IEC in June 2015 re-demarcated Kombo North as Sanneh Mentereng Constituency, Old Yundum Constituency, and Busumbala Constituency, as well as Kombo Central including Brikama North Constituency and Brikama South Constituency.

He stated that by the motion, they seek to align the newly created electoral constituencies in the West Coast Region with the Seyfo Districts for policy consistency reasons.

This, he said, is what is obtained in all regions and on the other hand to enhance local administration.

“It is undisputed that it was due to the high population density across the vast territorial area of Kombo North and Kombo Central respectively, that led the IEC to re-demarcate them into smaller electoral constituencies,” he said.

He added that due to the steady population increase and the daily related administration issues, they had to deal with in Kombo North and Kombo Central, it has become extremely difficult for a single Seyfo to effectively deal with all the challenging administrative issues.

As such he said it has become necessary to install District Authorities in each of the constituencies as demarcated by the IEC.

“We are confident that this will greatly enhance land administration and dispute resolution through the District Authorities and District Tribunals that will be established in each of these Seyfo Districts we are seeking to create,” he told the assembly.

Therefore, he said, by recognising these constituencies as Districts, each constituency will automatically become a stand-alone District authority of its own headed by a Seyfo in line with section 132 of the Local Government Act, which states that “Each District shall have a District Authority consisting of the Seyfo, a Chairperson and all Alikalolu within the District”.

He stated that the motion was presented in accordance with the provisions outlined in section 58 (2) of the constitution and section 133 (2) of the Local Government Act.

He assured that the territorial jurisdiction of the Seyfo Districts of the newly created Districts will strictly be the same as contained in the Re-Demarcation of Constituencies Order, 2015 by the IEC, published in Legal Notice No. 10 of 2015. The assembly subsequently adopted the motion.