All candidates wishing to contest for the position of Mayor and Chairperson in the twenty two Local Councils in the June 24th 2023 Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council elections will now do so with their running mates.

This is made possible following the enactment of the Local Council Act 2022 by Parliament on Monday December 19th 2022.

Members of Parliament also extended the four years term limit for Councils to five years, adding that Mayors and Chairpersons will now receive salaries.

In an interview with the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Tamba Lamina, he said the Act will strengthen and enhance local government and rural development in the country.

He said the Act will also provide for the continuation of Local Councils, decentralization and devolution of functions, powers and services to Local Councils and repeal and replace the Local Government Act of 2004 for the development of Sierra Leone.

Mr. Lamina noted that Parliament enacted the 2004 Local Government Act 18 years ago and needed to be reviewed because of the changes that have occurred.

He said President Julius Maada Bio’s leadership has noted that devolution and decentralization from the central government still remains a challenge.

He emphasized that the Executive and Legislative arm of government have agreed to strengthen decentralization as a strong way to ensure that the voices of the people are included in governance. He added that most of the functions in terms of devolution of assets and staff have not been achieved. He said government has come a long way but more needed to be done through the enactment.

He disclosed that Tribal and Village Headmen in Municipalities will now be ex-officio members in the Councils but will not have voting rights, noting that they are playing critical roles in governance.

He explained that accountability and governance have major stead in all Councils 1 makes Mr. Lamina said the Act provision for all Councils to publish on notice board their operations, adding that if they fail to do so, they will be fined Le25,000.

He insisted that the Act is a huge boost for the welfare of Council’s adding that thereis going to be a mainstream between council workers and civil servants in the Act, and that they are going to develop a regulation, with the Public Service Commission, Human Recourse Management Organization (HRMO).