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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

APRC gives thumbs up to IEC but not its chairman

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By Alagie Manneh

Despite the many mistakes it makes in The Gambia’s electoral system notably in the December 2016 polls, IEC can still be trusted to deliver a fair and credible election, according to Dodou Jah, the spokesperson of the APRC.

Following its 2016 error, the electoral body was the target of a barrage of criticisms from some opposition political parties most notably the APRC which called for the resignation of its chairman Alieu Momarr Njai and replacement by a more “God-fearing” person.

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But Dodu Jah said the APRC’s fight was with the chairman of the commission and not the IEC as a whole, and therefore, it should be trusted to handle the December polls.

“We have always been raising the alarm regarding the chairman but it seems no one wanted to listen because it was APRC which was making the noise,” Mr Jah told The Standard yesterday.

“The IEC is an institution and even though we do not trust the chairman, we believe the IEC as an institution can be trusted to deliver in December. There are lots of credible people within the IEC, the Joe Colleys, the Sambujang Njies and others. Those people can be trusted,” he said.

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Reiterating their distaste for the chairman, Mr Jah said: “Our cry has been the IEC chairman. We feel he is ageing. We feel because of this, he is not on top of things or issues. And being a head of an institution, especially the IEC, requires a pragmatic person. That’s all that we are saying and have been saying.”

Mr Jah said the lack of confidence in the IEC chairman is across the spectrum and not limited to some opposition political parties.

“Whenever people call me to enquire about the IEC, they ask about Sambujang Njie, Joe Colley and others. Not for once have they asked about the chairman,” he said.

However, Chairman Njai had repeatedly stated that he has no desire to quit.   

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