INTER-PARTY SAYS VOTER REGISTER SHOULD BE NULLIFIED: If Senegalese MP’s revelations are true

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By Omar Bah & Aisha Tamba

The co-chair of the Inter-Party Committee has challenged the Independent Electoral Commission to call for a new voter registration if the claims by a Senegalese MP that most residents of Casamance have acquired Gambian ID Cards are found to be factual.

Recently, Hon Oumar Cissé Souvané, a Senegalese parliamentarian, said the majority of people in his community in Casamance have Gambian identity cards because it is very easy to get it especially during election time.

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Contacted by The Standard whether this might not have implications on Gambian elections because an ID Card is one criterion to get a voter’s card, the Inter-Party Committee co-chair, Samba Baldeh, said his committee takes the allegations very seriously because that could directly or indirectly affect the outcome of Gambian elections.

“As the co-chair of the Inter Party Committee, I believe if the allegations are found to be true the IEC should be compelled to call for another general voter registration before the next presidential election because if the numbers are massive as the MP claims, then that could affect the outcome of our elections if those people access our voter’s card,” Baldeh told The Standard yesterday.

He said the IPC will go to any length to ensure that the government gets to the bottom of the matter.

“We cannot have a massive number of foreigners influencing our elections. That would be very dangerous for our democracy. So as IEC is responsible for giving voter’s cards, we advise them to monitor this matter very closely and ensure they call for another voter registration if it is found to be true,” he added.

Mr Baldeh said the issue is a serious national security matter and should not be politicised.

“It could affect all political parties because nobody can tell who those people are going to vote for if they were going to acquire the country’s voter’s card,” he stated.

According to Mr Baldeh, the government should handle it with urgency because it is its responsibility to ensure the country’s documents don’t fall in the wrong hands.

“I see no reason why a non-Gambian should get our documents, especially ID Cards. So, the alkalolu who attested for those people to acquire our ID Cards should be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.

IEC

When contacted for comments, the IEC spokesperson Pa Makkan Khan, said: “If you are talking about his comments on the ID Cards, I would not comment on that. I would only be able to comment if this were brought to us as established facts.”

Asked whether that would not affect the integrity of the voter registration, Mr Khan said: “I will not want to comment on that. So like I said, if it is established, I will be able to comment on it.”

He said the IEC is focusing on the local government elections and they would not want anything to distract them.