Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Has The IEC Been Taken To Court?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

The IEC is not immune to be taken to court especially when one has courts that are as independent as the ones in The Gambia today.

According Section 14(3) of the Public Enterprise Act the IEC can sue and be sued. It is indeed true that the IEC has been taken to court in two separate cases.

In one case Gambia Participates and Centre for Research and Policy Development (both civil society organizations) and the Councillor for Box Bar Ward in Banjul North (Councillor Abdou Aziz Gaye) have filed a summons before the High Court against the Mayoress of Banjul (Rohey Malick Lowe), the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Attorney General challenging the legality and validity of the mandate accorded to the Mayor to issue attestations to Banjul constituents in the ongoing general voter registration.

The plaintiffs want the court to put a stop to this and to cancel all voter’ cards issued by the IEC that were supported by attestation forms issued and or endorsed by the Mayor of Banjul.

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According to news reports Bakary Bunja Dabo, Cherno M. N’jie, Pa Samba Sadaga Jow, Jeggan Gerald Grey-Johnson and Sidi Mohammed Sanneh have filed filed an Ex parte motion before the High Court of Banjul seeking an Order of Mandamus from the court that compels the Attorney General and the Independent Electoral Commission to comply with the Judgment of the Supreme Court that orders the IEC and the State of The Gambia to provide equal access to Gambians in the Diaspora for registering as voters and participate in all public or general elections held in The Gambia particularly, the coming December 2021 Presidential election.

The outcomes of the court actions are anxiously been waited for. It could lead extension of registration and cancellation of registration already done in the respective constituency.

The second scenario is for registration to be done in the Diaspora if the court declares that that is the right thing to do.

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