QUESTION OF THE DAY
At a meeting conducted by the IEC on Wednesday 2021 the commission made it abundantly clear that all candidates must fulfil the following before they could be considered qualified to stand as candidates during the forthcoming presidential elections:
- A candidate shall be a citizen of the Gambia.
- A candidate has attained a minimum age of thirty years.
- A candidate has completed senior secondary school education.
- A candidate has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for the five years immediately preceding the election.
- A candidate shall be nominated by no less than five thousand voters whose names appeared in the register of voters with at least two hundred voters being drawn from each administrative Area.
- Sworn Declaration of Assets.
- Tax Clearance Certificate.
- Payment of deposit of ten thousand dalasis (D10,000) as amended.
- Representative symbol, colour and photographs of a candidate.
- A person who is qualified to be registered as a voter under the Constitution and the Elections Act may contest as an Independent candidate in any election.
- A political party/ candidate shall abide by the code on election campaign ethics which the Commission may from time to time prepare.
- A submission of a manifesto encouraging the spirit of tolerance and multiculturalism.
This is the best way forward in conducting voter education. The voter must become an owner of the process if elections are to be transparent, free and fair. The law that governs elections should be known to the candidates and voters so that no time would be wasted at any stage of the electoral process. In fact, the IEC should make it known to all candidates that they have the option to submit their nomination papers for review by IEC officials prior to nomination day.