By Nelson Manneh
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has on Friday 28th May 2021 informed the media that based on the existing laws, diaspora general registration of voters will not be conducted.
The 1997 constitution and the election laws did not cater for the diaspora to participate in the Gambian election process. General registration of voters is the issuing of voters’ cards to all qualified Gambians to be able to vote at elections. The process is to replace all existing voters’ cards and issue all qualified Gambians new voters’ cards at their place of birth or residence.
The Chief Electoral Officer, Sambujang Njie, said individuals who are serving a sentence of imprisonment, a person adjudged to be of unsound mind or detained as a criminal lunatic under any law and any one disqualified under the Elections Act or under any other law is disqualified.
“The general registration of voters commenced on the 29th May 2021 and ends 11th July 2021. Every day, voter registration will be conducted from 8am to 5pm. Not all registration centers are opened at once but the registration centers will be moving based on schedules,” said Njie.
The IEC Chief Election Officer said voter registration will be conducted only at registration centers and all registration centers are located at public places determined by the IEC in consultation with villager/settlement heads and usually at “bantabas” (community centers). As the world is battling with the coronavirus pandemic, the IEC has called on Gambians to wear facemasks when going to the registration centers, accept the application of hand sanitizers, observe the 1.5-meter social distance, and not to gather around registration centers