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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Prisoners must not vote – GDC NAM

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By Omar Bah

The opposition GDC national assembly member for Niamina East, Omar Ceesay has disagreed with the Independent Electoral Commission’s proposal that prisoners should be allowed to vote in the country’s elections.

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“I am totally against any attempt to give prisoners the right to vote. Their deprivation of these and other rights should constitute their punishment. I think the most important thing is to ensure that our prisons are of international standard and operate within the confinement of rule of law. But to give prisoners the same rights as everyone else defeats the purpose of their punishment,” Ceesay told The Standard exclusive recently.

The IEC Chairman was quoted as saying during IEC consultation with the constitutional review commission that prisoners should be given the right to vote.
However NAM Ceesay said prison is an important and integral part of the criminal justice system in every country.
“When used appropriately it plays a crucial role in upholding the rule of law by helping to ensure that alleged offenders are brought to justice and by providing a sanction for serious wrongdoing,” he explained.

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