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Thursday, October 21, 2021

IEC CONSIDERS PUNISHING PEOPLE WITH MULTIPLE VOTER CARDS

By Omar Bah

The Independent Electoral Commission is set to make a decision on the fate of some 2966 people who are found to have registered more than once in the just concluded voter registration exercise.

According to Election House, the culprits may face some disciplinary actions including prosecution.

Speaking to The Standard exclusively on Wednesday, IEC chairman Alieu Momarr Njai said: “The commission wants to sit on the issue to decide how many of them will be deleted or prosecuted”.

Asked how did the offenders beat the system, Mr Njai said it is “very simple” as people can register in Serekunda and go to Brikama to register again without IEC’s knowledge.

“It is only after the whole registration process is over and the database of all those who registered is collected and compiled that we will be able to detect it. So if people deliberately register more than once and are discovered, the commission has to make a decision as to what to do.

“We don’t like taking people to court but we must also take measures to make sure those doing it deliberately will have to account for their actions,” he said.

Revising courts

Chairman Njai said the commission has written to the Ministry of Justice to appoint magistrates for the revising courts.

Turning to the December presidential election, Njai said the electoral commission is committed to delivering a fair and transparent election, adding “the IEC’s current system is reliable and cannot be tampered with by anybody”.

He urged the country’s political parties to ensure they have agents in all the country’s polling stations to ensure that the process is given the scrutiny it deserves. However, the IEC boss insisted that the country’s current voting system is a nightmare, arguing that the need to migrate to ballot paper cannot be overemphasized.

Njai disclosed that the IEC had contracted the GTTI to manufacture its ballot drums which cost them about D20 million.

Advice

“My message to all Gambians whether you have a voter card or not, please campaign and vote peacefully because there is going to be a winner at the State House and God has already destined that. As a Muslim, I believe in destiny. Let us not instigate people to create chaos in this country,” he said.

Mr Njai urged the country’s political parties and presidential candidates to campaign on policies and to avoid creating trouble.

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