There has been a dramatic development in the election process of the Gambia Football Federation with the electoral committee announcing that 5 of the nominations from the opposition Malick Sillah’s camp have been rejected.
Among those whose nominations were rejected include the number 2 and 3 aspirants of the Sillah camp, Star Njie and Kabba Ceesay, respectively.
The Sillah Camp’s woman representative Mariama Jobarteh and executive member Essa Jallow also had their nominations rejected.
Only Presidential candidate Malick Sillah, 3rd vice President Foday Danjo have had their nominations accepted
A press statement from the GFF electoral committee announcing the disqualification did not explain which criteria were not met by the rejected nominees over the weekend but it also revealed nominations of all candidates from the incumbent Lamin Kaba Bajo except one have been accepted.
Over the weekend, The Standard contacted the Electoral commission member Saikou Jarju, who said the decision to reject the nominations and the reasons were communicated to the individual nominees and the clubs that nominated them. Asked if the presence of the GFF secretary general in the electoral committee will not cause influence on the process given his apparent unhidden loyalty to the Kaba Camp, Jarju said the secretary general’s role stops at only taking down minutes and communicating on behalf of the committee and that he has no other influence or powers over any decision.
Mr Jarju further said that the affected clubs and individuals however have a right to appeal and if they choose to do so, their cases will be heard by an appeal committee which is an independent body.
Meanwhile Essa Jallow, the spokesman of the Sillah camp said the Kaba-led administration has now manifested their greed to cling on to power at all cost by shamelessly resorting to going on a fishing expedition just to frustrate any attempt by anyone to hold them accountable for their horrible tenure of office at the helm of Gambian football.
“Their manipulation of a carefully selected body of people masquerading as an electoral body whose existence was passed by a rubber stamped assembly of delegates hoodwinked or bribed to do the bidding of the Kaba regime is now very clear.
“However in their unquenchable desire and greed to remain in office, they have now exposed themselves as clowns by trying to interpret the law as they chose to and not what it dictates.
“For a start, to say that Serekunda United which played the 2017-18 season, which nominated me is relegated and does not have voting right in an election holding in the same season is laughable. Secondly and by the same token, the GFF AGM amendment categorically stated that the provincial champions would automatically come to the second division with voting rights in the 2018-19 season which is not yet started. How can they be qualified to vote in an election that is holding in the 2017-2018 season? These are the first fundamental issues that the electoral committee needs to consider before going ahead to do the biding of the GFF,” Mr Essa Jallow stated.
He said this decision has now opened a whole new debate and legal challenge as to who is qualified or not to vote in this election.
“I’m afraid we must first get clarity on that before we move to the elections,” he added.
Mr Jallow stressed that the entire decision of the electoral committee on the rejections will be appealed against in addition to matters dealing with the voter list.
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