He said such reforms should include elimination of age limit for presidency and the use of marbles as ballots.
He added: “There should be availability of the master voters registry to the public throughout the year to ensure that non Gambians do not determine our elections or substantially minimising the potential for double or multiple registration and voting, as well as the impersonation of deceased voters and the enforcement of strict neutrality of law enforcement outfits by the IEC. The IEC merely states the law on neutrality but does nothing to enforce its provisions.”
Mr Fatty who has fled the country shortly after the previous presidential election made this remark during a news conference via telephone at his party’s offices in Sukuta.
He added further: “I will say this very clearly and I want to assure The Gambian people that if the Independent Electoral Commission remained opposed to electoral reform as was demanded by the opposition, then it would have clearly defined itself as an extended arm of the ruling APRC. It would have been clear that they are not an independent electoral body. The process leading to an election is very essential in that it determines the integrity of the polls. If the process is not fair, the result cannot be fair and that is what we have been talking about.
“If we are going to hold an election under the present conditions, we are going to hold sham elections and GMC is not going to partake in any fraudulent election as has happened in the past. In our pursuit of reform, we will not just stop at mobilising ourselves as political parties in the country, but also engage the international institutions so that the country can have a real election. I will assume that the Ecowas intervention can change something because we are a nation of laws. The Gambia is a member of Ecowas and a signatory to the Ecowas protocol on democracy and good governance and this was signed by President Jammeh on December 21, 2001, in Abuja. This protocol is very clear that the decisions of Ecowas are binding on The Gambia as a state. So if the government is to respect its international obligations in international treaties such as Ecowas, it will comply. But if they don’t, they are showing the whole world that they do not respect their commitments and engagements.
“If the electoral system is not reformed, and the system does not change to meet the challenges we face, there will be no realistic opportunity for genuine plurality. Going to elections under such circumstances would constitute a conspiracy to usurp the power of the electorates. Let me assure you from the highest authority that there will be no elections without electoral reforms. We will use all legitimate means in our power, working in tandem with all stakeholders both at home and around the world, to assure the supremacy of the actual voting intent of our electorates, through comprehensive electoral reforms and internationally accepted good practices. Read my lips: GMC will not go to the polls without reforms. We do not exist to partake at exercises in futility or knowingly go through the formal motion of pre-programmed electoral defeat for the sake of it.”
Present at the news conference were executives of the GMC youth wing, Daniel Mendy the president; Nanki Keita president of the women’s youth wing; Sekou Sillah regional youth mobiliser and Bafulo Manneh, the administrator.]]>