By Omar Bah
The Chief Electoral Officer at the Independent Electoral Commission has warned that any candidate found using Coalition materials or President Barrow’s pictures during the campaign for the local government elections will be automatically disqualified.
Addressing village heads yesterday at the Kanifing Municipal Council, Samboujang Njie said the upcoming local government elections will be contested on party lines with each party or candidate using their own campaign materials. He said it will be grossly misleading for anyone to use President Barrow or Coalition slogans
“This is a party election and any candidate that is contesting under a party should use that party’s materials or your own, if you are independent. The Coalition is not a party but a group of parties that came together to form it,” he clarified.
Mr Njie said during the National Assembly election they were forced to send warning letters to over 30 candidates ordering them to stop using the Coalition or President Barrow as campaign tools.
“But this time we have a red card waiting for candidates found wanting. We don’t want to see any candidate using materials that have the symbols of Coalition 2016 or President Barrow’s picture as it is wrong, misleading and unacceptable,” he warned.
He continued: “Please don’t spoil the democracy we begin to enjoy because during the election we will have a lot of election observers coming to observe the election and if they see anything of that nature, they would write about it. We have made a lot achievement as an electoral commission and we will not accept anything that will ruin our achievement,” he stated.
CEO Njie also warned senior council members and village heads against interfering in the upcoming local government elections, saying “Please vote and go home; do not influence anything.”
Free and fair election
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, Alieu Momarr Njai, has reassured free and fair elections. “I can assure the general public that IEC is fair enough to preside over this local government election independently and with fair play. No one can rig our elections.”
The KMC interim mayor, Bakary Jammeh reassured IEC of his council’s unflinching support to ensure that a free and fair process is done in the KM.