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UDP PETITIONS BARROW OVER ‘ELECTION FRAUD’ …Asks court to declare polls invalid

UDP PETITIONS BARROW OVER 'ELECTION FRAUD' …Asks court to declare polls invalid

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By Omar Bah

The opposition United Democratic Party yesterday filed a petition at the Supreme Court urging the apex court to “nullify” the December 4 Presidential election due to alleged corrupt practices by Adama Barrow and his National People’s Party.

The petition obtained by The Standard, showed the UDP alleging that President Adama Barrow and members of his National People’s Party bribed voters by giving them money, cooking utensils and milling machines.

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Elsewhere in the petition, the party alleged that non-citizens were inserted in the register of voters in the length and breadth of the country.

The UDP also complained about a wide range of issues including; the turning away of voters for non-wearing of masks, refusal to supply counted results to UDP agents at some of the counting centers, reopening of polls for voting after the official closure of at 5PM, continuation of voting into the night for up to midnight, widespread appearance of resident non-Gambians to vote in the elections, widespread appearance of people across the borders from both northern and southern Senegal to vote in the elections and numerous complaints relating to lack of transparency in the election process. The party also complained that chiefs and governors were engaged in the campaign to support Barrow’s candidature and that the election was invalid by reason of hate speech against the Mandinka tribe and in order to induce fear in the voters against the petitioners when it became the campaign slogan of the NPP that if UDP wins the election, Wollofs, Serere, the Fulas and other ethnic minorities will be expelled from the country.

The UDP also claimed that the IEC and NPP conspired to absorb renown supporters of the NPP as presiding officers to supervise the election. They identified such people as  Fabakary Ceesay – Jambur, Fansu Sambou – Brikama, Ousman Manneh – Kembujeh, Ramatoulie Bajinka –Brikama, Oumie Hydara – Brikama Wellingara, Rose Basse –Lamin, Nyarra Sowe – Sibanor, Lamin K Jawara – Farato, Malick Jammeh – Kembujeh, L.S.A.Jatta – Sifoe, Lamin M Manneh –Brikama, Amadou Sanneh – Brikama, Alasana Bah – Basse, Alfusainey Jarjusy – Nyofelleh, Fatou Jammeh – Kuloro and Fabakary Gibba – Ndemban .

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The party alleged that the NPP in an attempt to induce voters distributed cooking utensils in Kachang, Conteh Kunda, Sabach Sanjal, Sarra Kunda and Kerr Bamba. The party said Barrow and his NPP were engaged in giving financial inducement to voters throughout the country during political campaign. They said these corrupt practices violated section 116 of the Election Act,which renders the elections invalid. The UDP also alleged that the corrupt practices and inducements complained of were allegedly carried out on behalf of President Barrow or with his knowledge and by persons acting with his authority. The party argued that the IEC did not permit its agents to be present when the ballot boxes were sealed on the morning before the commencement of the polls and that alkalolu(village heads) presence at some polling stations throughout the day was condoned by IEC officials adding that in Basse, Gen Ensa Badjie appeared at the polling station and ordered the IEC to re-open the polling station for those who came late. The UDP also argued that polling stations such as Busumbala Mission School, Old Yundum and Sukuta were congested and the IEC did not provide enough booths and that UDP agents at the IEC were merely given a fax copy.

Meanwhile, legal sources told The Standard that Mr Barrow has about 21 days to respond to the petition after which a date will be appointed for hearing.

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