Monday, April 19, 2021

Will There Be By Elections To The Office Of chairperson Of The Brikama Area Council And Councillor?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY:

Foroyaa has been informed that the Chairperson of the Brikama Area Council and a Councillor who were elected under a UDP ticket have been expelled from the party. Readers have been asking whether there will be by elections to the two seats. Readers would recall that the following section used to be relied on by ex-President Jammer to remove National Assembly members from their seats by expelling them from the APRC.

Section 91(1d) used to read that a National Assembly member would vacate his or her seat;

“if he or she cesses to be a member of the political party of which he or she was s member at the time of his or her election;”

This provision has now been annulled. This is why National Assembly members who are expelled from the UDP are now Independent National Assembly members. By virtue of that action, no single party has a majority to pass a motion or Bill in the National Assembly.

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The original local government Act did not have such a provision.

Foroyaa will trace the history of how the provision was eventually enacted in the next issue. In this issue, Foroyaa would not want to draw a conclusion until it interviews those concerned to find out whether they are challenging their expulsions in the high court or not. If not, we will draw the conclusion. If they are going to court, we will wait until the court gives its verdict. The Ya Kumba Jaiteh case is an eye opener, giving compelling evidence why we should not give conclusive pronouncements on thorny Constitutional matters. Notwithstanding, we will state the amendments to the Local Government Act regarding the correlation between censure of membership to a party and vacancy of Council seats.

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