Monday, 7 May 2018

“Mr. Alieu Momar Njie, Chairman IEC Should Be Told The Truth To Avoid Another Impasse”

Alieu Momar Njie 

Please be informed that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) was established in accordance with section 42 of the 1997 constitution of the Republic of The Gambia. It operate within the confines of the Electoral Laws in the Constitution (as amended), Electoral Act, (as amended) an the Local Government Act 2002 (as amended).

Furthermore more your appointed as the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission is in accordance with Section 42 of the Constitution. An election commission is a body charged with overseeing the implementation of election procedures. Holding periodic free and fair elections, essentials of a democratic system and a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. The Election Commission is regarded as the guardian of elections in the Republic of The Gambia.

Be reminded that the December, 2016 election. The day after the votes were casted your high office announced to the nation that Barrow and the coalition had won. Jammeh initially conceded defeat, but a week later he shortly reversed his position and refused to hand over power, thrusting the country into a period of uncertainty ‘the impasse’. As a result of your Institution announcing two different results.  

The tragedy was the day after the election when clashes broke out on the main road between UDP and APRC supporters in Sibanor. Stones were thrown and multiple houses were damaged before the police arrived. During the impasse political tension seeped into everyday life in communities across the country. Many reported that political arguments turned into scuffles in the markets. Allegedly some even stopped attending the traditional ceremonies of their political rivals. The impasse ended and the tension eased when Jammeh fled in late January to Equatorial Guinea, but the cornerstone of communal tension had been laid.

The last time I checked on Friday you announced that the United Democratic Party (UDP) got 62 seats, the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) 23, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) 18 seats, PDOIS 7 seats, Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) 1 seat, National Reconciliation Party (NRP) 5 seats, while NCP and GPDP did not win any seat and three seats won by independent candidates.

Surprisingly enough days later you took another U turn to release another results, which showed that the opposition APRC won 16 instead of 18 seats, and so did the GDC, which pulled a total of 25 seats and not 23 as previously announced by your same institution.

Of latest I learnt that the office of the independent candidate Mr. Mohamadou Musa Njie, was approached by your high office to drop the official colour (Grey) which was approved by your same institution (IEC) for the mayoral election of the Kanifing Municipality, 2018?. Such errors should not be encouraged as it can lead to electoral violence.

The real trick to good governance is to place the needs of the masses above everything else, to lead not just with words but with action. Actions define priorities. It’s the only way the IEC can successfully bring us the long sought dividend of democracy.

In conclusion I write to join my voice with men of goodwill who have spoken to you in private and public on the election and other issues associated with it. I am courageous to say that this is in the interest of the Gambians.

A Luta Continua!
Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Political Activist

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