By Tabora Bojang
Independent presidential aspirant, Papa Faal, one of many whose nominations were rejected by the IEC, has said he was rejected based on technical grounds, because another party had submitted names and signatories of voters that were also part of his submission. “The problem was technical. The IEC’s requirement is that no single voter can endorse two political parties. Had we submitted our documents before that particular party, we would have been the ones to get endorsement,” he said.
“The IEC requirement is that the party that first submits gets the signatures. We found out that many of the signatures that we had were already submitted by another party and they were granted the authority for that nomination and we were rejected”, Faal said at a press conference yesterday.
Asked which party was that, the former US army officer said he will not disclose that,“for confidentiality.” purposes.
He said he does not know whether the people who signed his forms are the same people who signed for the other party.
“I know for sure that we went physically to meet those people [signatories] in Kiang and Jarra in the Mansakonko Administrative Area] and we received their authorisation. In fact, we got their voter cards pictured for verification purposes. So I cannot explain what the other party did to get the same signatures,” Faal added.
According to the IEC, Faal was rejected because he has not complied with section 42 (2) of the Elections Act since his submission fell short of the 200 registered voters from the Mansakonko Administrative Area.
However, Mr. Faal further claimed his nomination was supported by 565 signatures from the Mansakonko Administrative Area.
“But we realised that what they [IEC] said is what really happened and no one can do anything about it. It is the law. It is the will of God. I thank Gambians for the well wishes and the solidarity over what had happened. We take it in good faith and we are going to move forward to now focus on our party. We are going to work very hard to build our party to make it stronger and to get ready for the parliamentary elections and the 2026 presidential election.
“Every one a has right to vote. At this moment, we are deliberating and talking to our supporters to find out where they want us to go,” Faal, a grandson of late former Gambian leader DK Jawara, said.