By Yankuba Jallow
The Citizens’ Alliance (CA) party has called on the Independent Electoral Commission to prepare for the forthcoming election in an orderly manner since there is no need for them to rush.
“Rushing things will undermine the whole electoral process,” said Dr. Ismaila Ceesay- the party’s leader last Friday at their press conference.
The political scientist warned that the continued silence of the IEC without coming up with a new timetable is worrying because the IEC may end up rushing to carry out ‘things and undermine the whole electoral process’.
“The silence is really scary. By now we should know the new timetable – when should registration take place? When should it be possible to hold referendum? But these things were left in limbo,” Dr. Ceesay said.
“Very little is being done and the danger in that is, we will start rushing things and which is very dangerous. When you rush things, you don’t do things properly.”
Dr. Ceesay said when things are not done properly; it has implication on the integrity of the electoral process. He opined that before registration and referendum, there should be civic education.
“This is going to be the highest stake elections. It is not going to be any ordinary elections. Therefore, everything should be perfect and right. Everything should be well planned and methodical,” he said.
He said they won’t allow things to be done in a rush and improperly.
“The people who are going to do the registration should be trained,” he said.
Commenting on the Elections Bill, Dr. Ceesay said they have not set an eye on the final copy of the draft bill.
“There were three different copies circulating. The one the IEC had was different from the one the Ministry of Justice had which was also different from the other one. What is the final draft going to National Assembly? We want to see it,” he said.
He said the Government should understand that the IEC has a funding gap because the National Assembly had cut the IEC budget.
“We want the Government to urgently look at this and make sure they give them enough funding to be able to carry out proper voter registration and elections,” Ceesay said.
Dr. Ceesay called on the IEC to engage civil society organizations and media constantly so that everyone will be on the same page. This, he said, will bring about transparency.