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UDP claims it filed over 2,000 pages of evidence that election was stolen

UDP claims it filed over 2,000 pages of evidence that election was stolen

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By Talibeh Hydara

Following a general appreciative message from party leader Ousainu Darboe on Wednesday, the United Democratic Party has expressed disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision to strike out its petition.

The apex court Tuesday struck out the party’s petition, citing its failure to observe Rule 11 of the Elections Petition Rules.

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In a strongly-worded statement, UDP claimed it had done better than what Rule 11 required and the Supreme Court was wrong to strike out their petition on “trivial technicality”. 

“In fact, the UDP had conducted its case above and beyond the requirements of Rule 11 in that: the Petition was served within 48 hours of filing and the respondent had already commenced participating in the matter; UDP had applied for costs to be ordered. Indeed costs of D300,000 was ordered and paid immediately within the five-day period. Therefore, a notice of proposed cost was overtaken by events.

Notice of the costs was given to the respondent by the Master of the High Court and further re-issued a second time by UDP to the respondent. All these steps were upheld by the court. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court decided to dismiss the entire petition on a trivial point of technicality. It is even more disappointing that the Supreme Court chose to strike out the petition when striking out was not a remedy provided for by statute,” a statement from the party’s secretariat said.

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There was a general feeling that it would be tough for the UDP to provide concrete evidence in challenging the validity of the election results.

However, according to the party, by 24th December, the UDP had filed 30 witness statements and over 2,000 pages of “overwhelming evidence” that the election was stolen by the incumbent Adama Barrow.

“…the United Democratic Party had on the 24th of December filed 30 witness statements and over 2,000 pages of overwhelming evidence that established beyond any reasonable doubt that:

a. The conduct of the election was fraught with corrupt conduct and vote buying;

b. Thousands of voters were added to the voter list after close of registration;

c. Thousands of foreigners obtained voters cards in The Gambia illegally;

The conduct of the vote counting was full of irregularities that made the result of the election null and void,” the party alleged.

The party vowed to present their evidence to the Gambian people despite the Supreme Court ruling, claiming the UDP didn’t lose the petition but “driven from the seat of judgment by being barred from presenting evidence.”

“While we respect the decision of the Supreme Court as the apex judicial authority, we express our unreserved disappointment that the will of the Gambian people is once again suppressed. We will explore all legal options and ensure that the evidence gathered is presented to The Gambian people,” it added.

The party also urged supporters to be law-abiding “while pursuing their legitimate constitutional rights of recruiting more people into the membership of the party.”

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