Police deny group permit to protest against IEC

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By Omar Bah

The Inspector General of Police has rejected a request for permit by the Gambia For 5 Years and Peace-Building group to stage a protest against IEC chief electoral officer Samboujang Njie.

The group applied for the permit on Friday 26th November.

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A response letter signed by the IGP and seen by The Standard, stated: “This office writes to inform you that your request cannot be met at the moment due to the following reasons: The current political environment is filled with a lot of political activities (campaigns) ongoing with few days before the elections thus, it is not fitting to hold a march past against the body responsible to elections in the country.

“Secondly, the Gambia Police Force has made strategic deployments across the country in a bid to ensure peaceful conduct of elections (before, during and after) and does not intend to issue any permit for such gathering that may compromise the security of the country.”

The group’s president Ebrima Soribah said they have accepted the police decision “in good faith” but said they will hold a press briefing on the matter tomorrow.

He said “the move taken by the group has gone far and thus made a significant impact in helping to call the IEC to order” and alert the Gambia Police Force, the government and all stakeholders including the international community on their concerns.