Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Call To Duty For Registration Of Voters

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The Elections Act is clear on the documents that is required to prove one’s age and citizenship.

They are provided for under Section 11 of the Elections Act. It reads:

“Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person’s name shall not be entered on a register of voters in a constituency unless he or she produces any one of the following documents-

(a)       a birth certificate;

(b)       a Gambian passport;

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(c) a National Identity Card; and

(d)      a document certified by the District Seyfo or an Alkalo of the village of birth of the applicant stating that the applicant was born in the district or village.”

The IEC has to insist that all Alkalolu and Sefolu would be on active duty during registration of voters. They should be provided with responsibility allowance and compelled to sit on a table at registration centres to issue the documents required by law.

The IEC should prepare a standard registration document bearing security features to be signed by an Alkalo or seeyfo.

Furthermore, there is no provision in law for the Mayor of Kanifing Municipality or the Mayoress of Banjul to sign attestation forms. It is the same as giving authority to the President to sign attestation forms for those resident in Banjul. Since the practice is not gazetted it is not a by product of a subsidiary legislation and should be stopped.

The IEC should instead give the role to Commissioners for oath who should be paid responsibility allowances if they volunteer to be at the registration centres like the Alkalolu. This would reinforce the Independence of the IEC.

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