By Mariama Marong
The University of The Gambia’s Electoral Commission has disapproved the nomination of three aspiring candidates who have formed the ‘Inter-School Alliance for Change’.
The three aspirants including Nyaninka Manjang, president; Ebrima Sama, secretary general, and Ousman Drammeh, were disapproved for not fulfilling the requirement as indicated in the University of The Gambia Students Union Electoral laws.
Section 60, subsection (4) of the UTGSU Constitution states that for a person to be qualified to contest for any position under the students union, he or she must have at least two semesters left for study at the University.
Meanwhile, Ebrima Sama was disqualified after the Commission discovered that he had completed only three semesters at the University and could not provide any further reasonable argument before members of the Commission.
The three candidates filed an ex-parte motion before the judicial tribunal of the University on the 6 of November 2023 and also filed a petition for the review of UTGSU’s Electoral Commission’s disapproval of their candidature. The applicants were represented by Omar Dibba, Jacob Mensah, EbrimaJallow, Prince Dumbuya, and Ahmed Fofana, and are all students of UTG’s faculty of law.
In their petition, the applicants claimed that on 4th November 2023, they received emails from Lamin Touray, Chairperson of the respondent stating that with due adherence to the Constitution and the Electoral Laws of the University of the Gambia, the respondent (Electoral Commission) was informing them that their application to contest in the forthcoming UTGSU election for 2023, was duly disapproved.
The applicants further stated that the respondent failed to explicitly and expressly state this in their disapproval letters which were shared through their respective private emails, and argued that there are no legal grounds for disapproving their candidature under the UTGSU constitution and other laws of the University of The Gambia Students’ Union.
Nyaninka, Ousman and Ebrima believe that the respondent demonstrated a sense of partiality and bias against them, and acted ‘ultra vires’ to the powers conferred upon them by the constitution and other laws of the University of The Gambia Students’ Union.
The judicial tribunal of the University of The Gambia Students Union resolved on the 7th of November 2023, that in the interest of Justice and considering the urgency of the matter at hand, the tribunal grants the application, pursuant to Order 25 of the Rules of the High Court, to restrain the respondent from conducting any electoral activities pending the ruling and determination of the motion on notice.
A statement by the UTG’s ‘Inter-School Alliance for Change’ indicated their acknowledgment of receipt of the nomination decision of the UTGSU against its president, Secretary General, and Gender and Health Ministerial candidates in the forthcoming election.
“We assure all students that such a decision will not remain uncontested, and we wish to equally use this opportunity to encourage all students especially ‘Alliance’ members, supporters, and sympathizers, to remain patient, law-abiding, calm and peaceful,” the body said.