“Subject to the local council act 2004, councilors shall hold office for four years, and every councilor shall, before taking his seat in the local council, take and subscribe the oath prescribed in the second schedule,” so says sections 7 and 8.
But what seems commonness in mouths of number of elected Mayors, Chairmen and councilors of the concluded March 7 general elections is accusation of government not endeavoring making them take oath of office as by law required.
This, they say, is completely unprecedented of the ruling SLPP, and no doubt a strategy to smother opposition political parties, in particular, the APC, which is having sizeable seats in the local council, not to play active part in the governance of the country at local levels.
The local government, by extension, covers issues such as activities permitted on public land management and use of infrastructure.
They are responsible for the enforcing of local laws and other legislation over which they have authority.
It is also true local government sets the overall direction for municipalities through long-term plan including council plans, financial plans, municipal strategic statements and other strategic plans.
They set the vision, and then ensuring that same is achieved.
Because the role of local government in any country is key to the success of governance, regimes, over the years, have had untiring times luring the electorates vote Mayors, Chairmen and of course councilors of their respective political parties, to enable one party have free breathing space over the others at elections.
The Bio led SLPP is now being accused of not merely suppressing the free and timely working atmosphere of local councils nationwide, but cunningly seemingly replicating same to parliament, which official opening date slated for 19th April, has recently been postponed to 26th April, unexplained.
Yesterday 18th April, Hon. Paran Tarawally, the recently appointed clerk of the House of Parliament, was on air confirming the deferral of the opening of parliament from 19th April to 26th April, 2018.
Reasons he put forward relate to the fact that names of persons to be sworn as members of parliament have irregularities, that as at his pronouncement of the new date for the opening of parliament; he was yet to set eyes on gazetted names of parliamentary members.
Many including civil society organizations and the media have expressed concerns over delay in the swearing of local councilors and of elected members of parliament.
They have equally called on the SLPP government of President Bio to swiftly cause such, to enhance the smooth and unobstructed running of the country.