By: Kebba AF Touray
The community of Janjanbureh has told lawmakers that the Gambians in the diaspora should be allowed to participate in the forthcoming presidential elections.
They made this disclosure on Wednesday 28th April 2021, during an interface with the parliamentary joint committee on Human Rights and Constitutional Matters and IEC.
“They are Gambians and should be allowed to participate in the forthcoming election regardless of their destinations,” he said.
On whether the IEC should be given the right to receive donations or grants, the community said the operations of the IEC should be fully resourced by the government. They said when IEC is allowed to receive donations or grants, the donor may have an influence or dictate the commission in the performance of its duties.
However, the community made contradicting views on the mode of attestation for voter’s card applicants. While some said that such attestation should be made by the Seyfo, others are of the opinion that the attestation should be made by the Seyfo and be assisted by five elders of the community.
On the issuance of the list of the registered voters to the registered political parties, some said the list should be provided to the parties free of charge and others said it should be paid for by the parties.
On the D500, 000 deposit for a presidential candidate, the community varied in opinion too. While some said the amount should be maintained, others said it should be increased to D1 million so that the IEC could generate funds to fully finance its operations.
On whether election should be postponed if an independent candidate dies a day before the elections and on the day of an election, the responds varied. Some said the election should be postponed if an independent candidate dies a day before the election or on the Election Day. Others said it shouldn’t be postponed due to the demise of an independent candidate.
They recommended that election polls open at 7:00am and close at 6:00pm in the evening. They also said the IEC Chairman should be mandated to announce election results and in his/her absence, the Vice Chairman can do it. They said the transfer of registration should be made free of charge.
The tour continues to URR South on Thursday 29th April 2021.