The number of council seats is 120. 366 candidates have been nominated to participate in the elections. No single seat has been left uncontested.

A review of the list of candidates would reveal that out of the 366 candidates 56 are females while 310 are males.

Party Representation reveals that out of the 19 registered political parties 12 parties have nominated in candidates. The rest are independent candidates. The number of candidates nominated by political parties arranged in alphabetical order are as follows: APRC 17, `APP 1, GDC 36, GFA 1, GMC 1, NPP 99, NRP 4, PAP 1, PDOIS 27, PPP 9 and UDP 102. Independent candidates are 67.

This is how matters stand as the country heads towards the last election in the electoral cycle for the year 2021 to 2026 when the new electoral cycle will begin with the presidential election of 2026. After the council elections unless there are by elections the county will head to the polls again in 2026 and 2027.

It is expected that with the new supreme court decision the life of the councils will be four years which means that council elections will no longer take place one year after national assembly elections. It will take place the same year as the national assembly elections. The life span of council will be from 2023 to 2027. It is likely that electoral reform will lead to the holding of mayoral, national assembly and local council elections all on the same day. It is also prudent that it be based on constitutional reform. Now it is for the people to decide the fate of the candidates. Power belongs to them.

It is a crime under Gambian law to bribe or allow one to be bribed to cast one’s vote. The constitution under section 26 calls from for free, fair and genuine election. Hence the voter must be free from intimidation and inducement. That is the verdict of history and the law of the land, it must be respected by all. Foroyaa will monitor the campaign.