Rethinking the Election Amendment Act

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Gambia government has decided to review the Election Amendment Act of the country.

It is specifically going to look at the Election Amendment Act of July 2015, which under section 43 increased the deposit for Presidential aspirants from D10,000 to D500,000; National Assembly aspirants from D5,000 to D50,000; Mayors from D2,500 to D50,000; and for the councillors from D1,200 to D10,000.

It is expected that under the reform and amendment drive of President Barrow most or all of these exorbitant deposits, for these various categories of aspirants, will be reduced drastically to allow for fair play and opportunity for more competent and capable Gambians with good initiatives to partake in the political scene to develop this country.

Such huge deposits for aspirants for these offices can, to a large extent, only contribute to barring or preventing competent, genuine and wise leaders, who could take our nation from one level to another or transform the country from grass to grace.

What such exorbitant deposits mean also is to deter genuine democracy, and denied capable Gambians of less resources of our rights to seek such political offices in our homeland.

It is, therefore, a tool to deter the good progress, growth and development of our nation, as it would mean only the affluent who could be in a position to contest for and attain such offices.

We, therefore, encourage the new administration - which has vowed to promote democracy, human rights, freedom of expression and other dignified human values - to go ahead in demolishing those barriers and walls of preventing many a genuine Gambian from seeking political offices, and in the process rob our nation of sound and correct leadership which could effectively and efficiently take the country from one good stage to another.

“I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction. Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality.”

Alice Paul