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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

President to disclose assets after leaving office

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By Omar Bah

The Draft Constitution has proposed that a Gambian President must disclose his or her assets within three months of leaving office to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
The draft further outlines that he or she must disclose, “all liabilities, assets and business interests he or she has incurred or acquired during his or her tenure as President or that is held on his or her behalf; and all liabilities, assets and business interests of his or her spouse held by or on behalf of the spouse”.

According to the new draft, the President shall not, during his or her tenure of office hold any other public or private office and shall not perform remunerative work outside the duties of his or her office.

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“The President shall within three months of assuming office, disclose to the Anti-corruption Commission all liabilities and business interests he or she has or that is held on his or her behalf; and all the assets, liabilities and business interests of his or her spouse held by or on behalf of the spouse,” the draft added.

The President is also barred from using his or her office, “or use information entrusted to or received by him or her in his or her official capacity, for personal gain directly or indirectly or place himself or herself in a situation where his or her material interests conflict with the duties and responsibilities of his or her office; or establish, or advocate for, participate in or promote the establishment, or in any other way engage in the establishment, directly or indirectly, of any organisation or institution of a civic, charitable or other nature”.

Political parties
Meanwhile, according to the new constitution non-Gambians are barred from funding candidates for public office.

“No association, other than a political party registered under or pursuant to an act of the national assembly, shall sponsor candidates for public elections”.
The draft also provides that only a citizen of The Gambia may make a contribution or donation to a political party registered in The Gambia.

“Every political party shall have a national character as prescribed by an act of the national assembly; have a democratically elected governing body; promote and uphold national unity; abide by the democratic principles of governance, and promote and practise democracy through regular, fair and free elections within the party; respect the right of all persons to participate in the political process, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, and other marginalised groups,” the draft noted.

Political parties should also declare to the public their revenues and assets, and the sources of those revenues and assets; publish to the public annually their audited accounts within six months of the end of the financial year, failing which the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission may deregister the party.

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