Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Will The Diaspora Participate In The Coming Elections As Voters?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Section 11 of the elections Act provides for the registration of voters to complement section 39 of the Constitution which entitles every Gambian to be registered when they have attained the age of 18 years.

There has been argument that without creating a constituency in the Diaspora the IEC will not be able to register those in the Diaspora under a constituency. The IEC would however have to explain why it cannot do what is stated in section 12 of the Elections Act. Section 12 () states that a person can be registered where he or she is resident or is born. The section reads:

““A person is entitled to have his or her name entered on the register of voters in a Constituency if he or she –

(a)  is a citizen of The Gambia

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(b) has attained or will attain on the date of the holding of the next election, the age of 18 years; and

(c)                      is resident or was born in that Constituency or is resident in a foreign country.”

It is therefore important for the IEC to explain to the nation why people born in a constituency and living abroad cannot be registered in such constituency. This has to be done now and not later.

The people in Diaspora must note that amendment to the Constitution would require publication of a bill for three months followed by a second publication for another ten days before the bill is introduced in parliament. Time is of the essence. Foroyaa is waiting for answers from the IEC.

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