Diasporans furious over postponement of voter registration


By Omar Bah

Over 45 Gambians, who traveled from the United States and other parts of the world to obtain voter’s card, have expressed disappointment over the electoral commission’s decision to postpone the exercise initially planned to start on January 14.

The concerned diasporans said the electoral body’s failure to meet the registration date could increase tensions ahead of the December 2021 general election.


But the IEC has since reassured the voter registration will be done well in time for the election but again did not give a specific date.

The electoral commission said it is waiting for clearance from the GPPA to procure materials.

Speaking to The Standard on behalf of the 45 Gambians, Lamin Chamang Komma, a Gambian based in the US, said the IEC’s decision is disappointing and disheartening.

“We traveled all the way from the United States to meet the start of the exercise on the 14th of January so that we can register because we want to vote in this year’s presidential election. So the last-minute indefinite postponement has come as a big disappointment for us,” he said, adding that they are still determined to come back to get registered once a new date has been fixed.

He said they decided to travel to The Gambia to register because they don’t trust that “the IEC will allow them to vote. We are disappointed and devastated but we will not relent.”

“The decision of IEC is scary and has put doubts on the credibility of the IEC, and coupled with the recent attempted appointment of an NPP member as deputy IEC chairman, these are very worrying signals that this government could do anything to stay in power,” he said.

The US-based Gambian also issued a warning to non-Gambians to stay away from the country’s politics, especially the upcoming December election.

“I am urging anyone that is not a Gambian to desist from taking any part in the upcoming election. Our election will be decided by Gambians and not non-Gambians,” he added.

He appealed to the ambassadors of Senegal and Guinea Conakry to warn their citizens living in The Gambia against obtaining the country’s voter’s card.

“We know citizens of those two countries were over the past years believed to be interfering in our elections. We cannot anymore allow foreigners to interfere in our elections,” Komma said.

He said there should be consequences for “anybody who unlawfully tries to influence Gambian elections.”