By Tabora Bojang
Banjul mayoral aspirant and former diplomat, Balla Garba Jahumpa, has reacted to the UDP’s decision to keep reigning Banjul Mayor Rohey Lowe as candidate for next year’s local government elections.
Speaking in an audio he shared with The Standard, Jahumpa, also called Action Man, vowed to revisit and re-challenge the IEC’s decision allowing the Banjul mayor to give attestations for registration of voters.
Last year, that matter was taken to court by civil society with the court ruling that the mayor is not among the authorities listed in the Elections Act to give attestations.
However, the IEC made it clear it does not have powers to delete those already registered by attestation in Banjul, stating that only the revising courts, which have since closed, have such powers after each registration exercise, meaning the register stays until next registration or revising courts.
But Action Man argued that the Chief Justice according to the laws should have the powers to request the Revising Courts to postpone their holiday and attend the case.
“Because I believe that there will be no levelled playing field for other political parties or independent candidates that intend to contest the election in Banjul if the mayor, who presided over the attestations, will be a candidate. I agree with Justice Mahoney that the IEC should not have given that responsibility to the mayor. It could have been done by the Muslim and the Christian elders with the IEC’s supervision and endorsement,” Action Man said.
He further argued that videos of people being transported to Banjul during registration were circulating. “I am not sure whether they were issued attestations but there was a fellow who ran away when he was asked a simple question of where in Half-Die he came from, as he had claimed,” Jahumpa said.
He alleged that most of the people seeking attestation were registered in Banjul Central and South even though they came from North.
Action Man said there should be no fear of disenfranchising those voters because if the Revising Court decides against the IEC, Election House can easily re-issue new voting cards at wherever they came from to vote.
“These are the issues we will raise out of natural justice for all candidates and parties,” he said.