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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Fresh suit against IEC over diaspora registration

By Bruce Asemota

Five diasporans have filed a fresh suit at the High Court in Banjul against the Independent Electoral Commission seeking an order to compel the IEC to register Gambians outside to vote in the forthcoming December 2021 presidential election.

The five are James Bahoum, Cherno Njie, Pa Samba Sadaga Jow, Jeggan Gerald Grey–Johnson and Sidi Mohammed Sanneh.

The applicants, who reside outside the jurisdiction of The Gambia, contend that the Independent Electoral Commission have conducted a general voter registration exercise and explicitly failed to register Gambians living outside the jurisdiction.

The applicants further contend that since the full judgment of the Supreme Court on the 17th March, 2021, the Independent Electoral Commission and the Attorney General have not taken any tangible steps to put in place mechanisms that would enable Gambians living outside the jurisdiction to be registered.

The applicants also contend that pursuant to Section 39 of the 1997 Constitution, every Gambian including those residing outside is entitled to be registered and to vote in election to the Office of the President, members of the National Assembly, local government offices and traditional rulers.

Therefore, the applicants are seeking for an order of the court to direct the Independent Electoral Commission to register them and Gambians living outside the country to enable them take part in the conduct of public affairs, to vote and stand for the 4th December, 2021 presidential election and subsequent elections. An earlier court decision on the same matter had said among other things that there was nothing before the court to decide on.

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