Gambia: Police Refuse GDC's Request for Permit

Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of the Gambia, at a Chatham House event in 2018.

The Gambia Police Force (GPF) have refused to grant permit to The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) to hold meetings.

GDC wrote to the police on 5th December 2019 requesting for permit to stage political rallies in Kulari in Tumana Constituency and Sareh Buchi in Jimara Constituency. The GDC had earlier applied for permit to hold rallies in Tumana and Jimara on 14th and 15th December respectively, but the police high command refused to approve the application.

The police have indicated that they will not issue any permit to political parties from December to January to hold any political rally.

Accordingly, the office of the Inspector General of Police has written to the party indicating the reason for not issuing them the permit as requested.

"This Office writes to inform you that it is currently constrain with personnel considering the demand to provide security to all Gambians during peak periods of December 2019 and January 2020," the police wrote to GDC.

"In this regard, permit relative to political rallies are currently put on hold until further notice (after the peak period)," the police indicated.

However, since the police took this decision, they have not announced it for the general public to know.

The police on Tuesday issued permit to the movement '3 years Jotna'. This is a movement of youths who are steadfast on reminding President Adama Barrow of his promise to lead for only 3 years and resign.

It is in accordance with section 5 of the Public Order Act for political parties to obtain permit from the police before holding any political rally. The issuance of permit is entirely at the discretion of the police, although the aggrieved party could appeal against the decision before the high court. The high court has the power to make orders for the police to issue the permit if the claim is successful before the court.

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