Friday, December 3, 2021

Can A Person Without A Voter’s Card Contest In A Presidential Or National Assembly Election?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Section 62 of the Constitution deals with the qualifications for election of President.

Qualifications for election as President

“(1) A person shall be qualified for election as President if—

(a) he or she is a citizen of The Gambia by birth or descent;

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(b) he or she has attained the minimum age of thirty years;

(c) he or she has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for at least the five years immediately preceding the election;

(d) he or she has completed senior secondary school education; and

(e) he or she is qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly.

(2) A person who holds the citizenship or nationality of a country other than The Gambia, shall not be qualified for election as President.

(3) A person who, while holding public office in The Gambia has been—

(a) compulsorily retired, terminated or dismissed from such office; or

(b) has been found guilty of any criminal offence by any court or tribunal established by law; or

(c) has been found liable for misconduct, negligence, corruption or improper behaviour by any commission or committee of inquiry established by law

shall not be qualified for election as President.”

Since subsection (1)(e) requires a presidential candidate to be qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly, we will cite section 89 of the Constitution which states:

 Qualifications for membership to the National Assembly

“(1) A person shall be qualified for election to the national Assembly if he or she—

(a) is a citizen of The Gambia;

(b) has attained the age of twenty-one years;

(c) has been ordinarily resident in the constituency for a period of at least one year prior to nomination day;

(d) is able to speak the English Language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him or her to take part in the proceedings of the National Assembly;

(e) has made such declaration of his or her assets to the Independent Electoral Commission as is required in accordance with section 43.”

There is no reference that one has to be a registered voter.

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