IEC Fails to Issue Accreditation to Polling Officers, Party Agents

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To Vote at Polling Stations

By Nelson Manneh

The Independent Electoral Commission failed to provide accreditation to polling officers and party agents to vote at the various polling stations they are not registered in during Saturday’s 9th April elections.

Abdoulie Sawaneh, an IEC polling officer in Kanilai village said the IEC did not give them any certificate that will allow them vote were ever they are posted.

“I come from Brikama and I am posted here in Kanilai. So without an accreditation I cannot vote. During the presidential elections, we were given accreditation but this time around, we are not,” he said.

Sawaneh suggested for the IEC to post polling officers where they will be able to vote because it is their constitutional right to do so.

Amadou Jarju, an agent in Foni Bondali constituency said he was posted to a polling station were he was not registered.  “I am posted at a polling station different from the station where I was registered, but within the same constituency. So I thought I will be able to vote because it is the same  constituency,” he said.

Jarju said at some point, he had to live the station where he was posted to go and vote and come back.

“I guess IEC should look at this. If one is posted within a constituency, the electoral body should allow one to exercise his or her constitutional right to vote in such elections,” he said.

In all the polling stations visited by this reporter, party agents were posted within the same constituency they were registered but were not allow to vote at the stations they were posted. Some of them decided to leave there point of duty to vote at the stations where they were registered and come back.

At the time of going to press, this reporter contacted both the Chief Election Officer (CEO) and the Returning Officer for the IEC Regional office in Brikama to get their views to no avail.