By Lamin Cham
Presidential aspirant Papa Faal and his Kairo Ning Nemo campaign have praised the Independent Electoral Commission for demonstrating vigilance and transparency in the just ended voter registration exercise.
The IEC announced last week that it has detected nearly 3000 persons who have registered more than once and that their names would be deleted from the register as a punishment.
Commenting on this and other issues, Papa Faal said the fact that the IEC is able to detect the multiple registration by some individuals and made it public knowledge shows they are diligent and transparent. “The IEC has showed its commitment to be open about things. Again, it is not be fair to blame the commission for not detecting the multiple registrations at the source because it is only when the register is compiled that one could detect things like this,” he said.
Mr Faal added he supports IEC’s plan to punish the culprits in one way or the other and he would prefer them to be deleted from the register totally.
According to Mr Faal, political leaders must start talking directly to their militants to rein them from the growing exchange of insults, gossips and other foul languages that can only increase anger and hatred for each other.
”The direction our politics is taking is too dangerous and there is need for political leaders to confront the problem headlong. I think the greater part of the work rests on the party leaders,” he noted.
On the much talked about and expected report of the TRRC, Mr Faal said the transparent nature of the work of TRRC has been acclaimed worldwide.
”I think the only natural thing for the Gambia government is to ensure that the recommendations are fully implemented,” he said.
The head of the Kairo ning Nemo campaign said while alliance of political groups may be useful sometimes, it is not entirely free from problems. ”You see everywhere in the world coalition leaders that eventually ended up kicking everyone. I believe every party should come up with a strong programme and sell it to the electorate and seek their mandate on the merit of that programme and not putting together different political groups with lofty theories that would dissipate once the leader takes control,” Faal said.
Preparations for December
According to Mr Faal, his campaign has now completed its first phase of activities which involved grassroots consultations with elders, community and opinion leaders around the country. “We have successfully conducted a solid touching of base meetings with important members of the community around the country. We are now facing the second phase which would mean rallies and other public functions,” he said.