By Bruce Asemota
A second presidential aspirant whose nomination papers were rejected and consequently declared disqualified to run in the December poll has taken the electoral commission to court.
Judiciary sources confirmed to The Standard that Joseph H Joof, an independent candidate has filed a petition at the high court against the Independent Electoral Commission asking for the overturning of the commission’s decision to reject him.
Last weekend the IEC announced that Mr Joof did not comply with Section 42 (2) (a) of the Elections Act (2009) as he submitted the list of voters supporting his nomination on notebooks and not on the legally prescribed form.
“In some administrative areas, where he submitted support of nomination by registered voters on the legally prescribed form, he submitted the support of nomination by less than 200 registered voters as opposed to the legal requirement that a candidate for election to the office of president shall be nominated in the prescribed Form 1 Part A of the fourth schedule by not less than 5,000 voters whose names appear in the register of voters, with at least 200 voters being drawn from each administrative area,” the commission stated.
It therefore stated it rejected Mr Joof’s nomination in accordance with Section 47(1) of the Elections Act.
Mr Joof is former attorney general and minister of justice. A distinguished lawyer, he also served for many years as president of the Gambia Bar Association.
He was among 15 independent and political party leaders who were declared disqualified to contest the December election. At least six of them appealed their rejection but the IEC affirmed its earlier decision. Most of the rejected candidates have accepted the IEC final arbitration or gone on and ensdorse or form alliances with running candidates.
However, Dr Ismaila Ceesay of Citizens’ Alliance has taken the IEC to court. His case is expected to be heard tomorrow.
The Standard could not confirm whether Mr Joof’s case has been assigned to a judge.