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City of Banjul
Monday, September 28, 2020

PDOIS’ BARROW CALLS FOR TERM LIMITS, SECOND ROUND OF VOTING

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Speaking at the recently-concluded regional outreach forum for National Assembly Members in URR and CRR held in Janjangbureh, the opposition politician said: “We should have a term limit for the presidency just like it is stated in the Local Government Act limiting councilors to no more than two terms in office. This provision has to be applied to the presidency. We should also have second round of voting in elections. If the majority have to lead, you also have to respect the rights of the minorities.  The issue of a term limit is very important to the democratisation process. If we have a term limit, it will encourage every president to work harder to fulfil the expectations of the electorate. This is why I say we have to have a term limit for presidency in the constitution. The National Assembly members should also have term limits just like the councilors. This issue of term limit has to be across the board. If we have term limits for lower class, why not for the National Assembly Members or the president? We have to be upright.”

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Mr Barrow told lawmakers: “As a councilor, I want the legislature to review the appointment of alkalolu, which is bringing confusion in our communities. I believe the power to appoint an alkalo should lay in hands of the people not the regional governor, the chief or the government. It has to lay in the hands of the community.

“The government has to consider the status of councilors because we are not allocated any salary; we are only allocated sitting allowances. This has hindered the growth and development of councils and contribute to people lacking interest in contesting for councillorship posts. For example, in my case, I am a qualified teacher, but my people say I must contest for councillorship. So that was why I contested. Having only a sitting allowance is a problem and it is not encouraging and we are looking forward to decentralisation. Therefore, I expect people to have good representation, and if they do not have that, it means you are not represented. 

“Remuneration for ward councilors will have positive impact because that will encourage more capable people stand for councillorship positions. I am a qualified teacher but if I am only allocated a sitting allowance, do you expect me to forego my other services for politics? Oh no! But if there is salary for me and other gratuities, I may be encouraged to opt for that position.” 

 

By Sainey Marenah

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