By Lamin Cham
Mai Fatty, the leader of the Gambia Moral Congress yesterday told journalists that the GMC is worried about the “unimpressive preparation” by the IEC for the December presidential election.
“Already, the process suffered a setback when the initial plan to start registration was delayed. And now perhaps more worryingly, the IEC has said that it has not yet accessed funds, with only about seven months to go before the election. This is very worrying and through the interaction the Inter-Party Committee has with the electoral body, we have discovered that a lot more work needs to be done,” Fatty lamented.
He said the period allocated for general registration “is too short” and registered his concern about the issue of attestation by seyfolu and alkalolu without public verification as it can be open to potential fraud.
“The trend is that the government is not committed to eradicating suspicious electoral processes that have existed in the past. It was common to see people being transported from neighbouring countries to camp in hotels and schools on the pretext that they are Gambians living in those neighbouring countries. This is suspicious and the GMC will challenge any thing like that even if it means going to prison,” he warned.
Mr Fatty accused President Barrow of using inappropriate language by saying that the election is a matter of do or die. “Such statements are not proper as they can inspire other opponents to respond or behave in similar attitude that can breach peace in the country. I think more clarification should be made about that statement,” he urged.
The GMC leader also took issues with the government about the state of insecurity in the country calling it deplorable.
“This situation needs true leadership and not silence each time serious crimes are committed,” he said.
Mr Fatty defended the GMC’s record in the Coalition 2016 saying his party cannot be associated with the coalition’s failure because it has stuck to the three-year timetable and ran the Ministry for the Interior portfolio “very efficiently”.
On whether the GMC will be joining a coalition for the December election, and if so which one, Fatty declined to give a direct answer saying any such decision would be taken at the right time by the party likely at an extraordinary congress.