Save the Political Parties, to Save the Peoples Will.
Politics is to seek Power of the People; Political Parties are Empowered by the People and are instruments in the machinery of Democracy. The people elects the representatives of the political parties. Among the types of the political parties in the Gambia are representative and integrative people who organised for the purpose of winning government power by election. Political Parties are organisation of Government, representative of the people, formulate the elites and goals among their functions for election by the people. Political Parties to varying degrees unites by shared political preference and general ideological identity.
The proposed bill to amend the clause in the Local Government Act 2015, motioning that “Mayors, Chairpersons and Councillors should maintain their Elected Seat when they cease to be part of a political party where they were elected”. This motion is a flaw to democracy. Political Parties should not be a stooge for pollical power for personal gain but for the organisational objectives.
This Clause was removed in 2017 from the Gambian 1997 constitution Section 91(d) leaving Section 91(e) states an independently elected Member of Parliament will vacate with his/her seat if he joins a political party. This should apply on both sides and not discriminatory to the political parties when their candidates are elected by the people too. A typical Example was, at the beginning of Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) government in the early 70s , they took many of the National Assembly Members of the United Party (UP) which lead to the fall of the UP. PPP were the first to put the law in place and later adopted by the APRC, until its removal from the 1997 constitution and subsequent draft constitution.
Election of Late Mayor Abdoulie Bah in Banjul as an independent Candidate (RIP) who later joined the APRC is also good case study, that the people of Banjul were discontented with the move thus his fall in the following election Local Elections.
In keeping the elected officials for the term to execute the Policies and Programmes of the party gives protection in effectiveness to perform as mandated by the people or a fresh process with By-election due fair dismissal or resignation of Candidate, democratic and upholding liberty, increase legitimacy, boost participation with greater responsiveness by the People.
MC Cham Jr
GDC National Youth President