21 C
City of Banjul
Sunday, January 17, 2021

IEC MULLS PRESIDENTIAL, NATIONAL ASSEMBLY POLL MERGER

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Alhagie Mustapha Carayol made this known yesterday to lawmakers comprising the public accounts and public enterprises committee in Banjul during its final appearance before the committee for scrutiny.

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“Yes, we can if we have the logistics in place, like the personnel and the vehicles. Currently, the law didn’t legislate for it, but if it legislated for it, we can have it. In other countries it is happening, and they are using ballot papers – we `are using marbles- why not?” Mr Carayol said after he was pressed by Babou Gaye Sonko, a nominated National Assembly member on the possibility of holding multiple ballots on the same day.

According to the IEC chairman, any such restructuring move will be dependent on legislation and can potentially address voter apathy in National Assembly election. As the current law stands, the presidential, National Assembly and local government elections are held separately. 

Meanwhile, commenting on the issue of demarcating boundaries for National Assembly elections, Mr Carayol said his institution was ready to deal with the issue of boundaries before the next elections. 

“I have good news for this house that before the next elections we will demarcate the boundaries. The concern that you raised is important, and we will do it,” he replied while responding to a question raised by Pa Landing Jatta of Kombo North.

In what was a torrid session for the IEC chairman and his team, it was dumbfounding to the eye of the observer, given that he is the one who conducts elections that bring National Assembly Members in the House.

And, a wrangling ensued when the chairman of the IEC pointed out that his institution could do the job of boundary demarcation alone. Other issues that cropped up for discussion were voter registration, funding for IEC complex in the regions. The report of the commission was however adopted.

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