By Omar Bah
The leader of the Gambia Moral Congress and former Interior Minister has told a scintillating story about how, he alleged, former President Jammeh rigged elections during the counting process on election nights, citing the 2011 presidential election as an example.
Speaking on Paradise FM recently Mai Ahmad Fatty, who has been contesting successive elections within an alliance with mainly UDP, said on 2011 election night, he was sitting at Ousainou Darboe’s house in Pipeline when, as counting began, a polling agent in KMC informed him about some malpractices at different counting stations.
“They told me IEC officials were using three tables instead of one as dictated by law and that counting should be done in one place because they requested for each party to send one polling agent, making it impossible for one person to observe three tables in different places at the same time,” he said.
Fatty said the other information they received was that among the three tables only one had light while the rest were in the dark with both soldiers and police present.
Fatty added: “We immediately contacted the IEC chairman Mustapha Carayol to inform him about it and demanded for him to immediately stop the counting and make sure that the counting is done in one place, but he refused to adhere. That is the time we requested for our agents to leave the said places because things were not done constitutionally.”
Mr Fatty said despite the fact that their agents vacated the counting centers where these malpractices were happening, the chairman Carayol “had the guts to sit on TV to announce the results claiming they were signed by all agents including ours. And these types of rigging mal-practices have happened repeatedly in the country during Jammeh’s era.”
The former Interior Minister also said they decided not to take the case to the court because they knew Jammeh was the head of the courts and he dictated the outcome of cases. “So we knew very well that there was no way in which we would be given a fair trial. This is just to tell you that Jammeh has never won elections in this country. Elections cannot be won on Election Day. The freeness and fairness of elections is determined by the years and months before the election day,” he said.
Fatty said Jammeh used to campaign everyday on TV, radios and no newspaper “has the gut to say anything about the bad things Jammeh was doing while the opposition did not have a single platform to sell their agenda. So the opposition were continuously left in the dark because their hands and legs were broken, blind and silenced in the process.”