A Dent In The Democratic Process

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On The Tearing Of The List Of Voters In Banjul

Democracy is meaningless if the people are not empowered. This is why section 1 of the Constitution makes provision for them to become sovereign. Section 26 further gives them the right to be elected and elect their representatives in free and fair elections.

It goes without saying that getting a proper register of voters is necessary for free and fair election. The law and the Commission do put in place measures to ensure a proper register. Those measures include involvement of the voter to scrutinize the list of voters prepared by the registering officer and to object to any name that is on the list that they believe are not entitled to be registered as voters.

Voters in Banjul have been deprived the opportunity of scrutinizing the lists of voters at Lasso Wharf and Odeon Cinema registration centres when these lists were torn into shreds apparently in a deliberate attempt to deprive Banjul voters of scrutiny.

This is a dent in the democratic process and the IEC should look into more secure ways of publishing the lists of voters. The Elections Bill under review should also take this into account.

Needless to say, voters in Banjul may approach the IEC to publish these lists in a more secure place.