By Omar Bah
Continuing their revelation of allegations of election malpractice by President Barrow and his NPP, the opposition UDP on Friday accused the election organising body IEC of complicity in alleged “monumental illegal registration of voters”. The party rejected the results of the December 4th presidential polls and unsuccessfully sought to have it annulled at the Supreme Court on grounds of fraudulent acts by President Adama Barrow, his party, and the election organising body.
Addressing a media conference at his Pipeline residence, UDP leader Ousainu Darboe said the IEC in complicity with the NPP stole the Gambian people’s verdict and produced “a rogue register that benefitted the NPP”.
“The IEC and NPP perpetrated monumental fraud on the people of The Gambia and the courts refused to hear us. As I speak the IEC is sitting on tons of evidence of this fraud, which they will not make available to Gambians. It is only the courts that can force them to do that,” Darboe said.
The UDP leader accused the commission of extending the registration period at several registration centers to “fraudulently” assists NPP to win an election that “they did not deserve”.
Reading from a long list of alleged acts of fraud, Darboe said the IEC had initially published that 555 people were registered at the Njau polling station No. 608806 but two days before announcing its final voters list for 2021, they indicated registering 1003 in the same place.
“This brings to question what happened to the 448 unexplained voters and where they came from. The 555 that were on the initial form should have been reflected in the IEC voter registration list instead of the 1003. Unfortunately, the UDP did not have access to this information at the time in order to raise the malpractices at the Revising Courts,” he said.
Illegal registration after IEC official deadline
The IEC closed registration of voters on 11th July 2021 but according to Darboe, 1547 voters were registered in Kulari in the Basse Administrative Area between 13th July to 30th July.
According to the party, another 182 people were registered in the West Coast Region either before registration opens or after closure of registration. The party said the abnormalities were registered in Brikama North 63, Brikama South 53 and Kombo South 66. The UDP added that 7 people were also registered in NBR during the same time while 27 were registered in KMC and 18 in CRR, as well as 5 in Banjul.
Thousands registered in just 3 minutes
The UDP further alleged that 2, 122 people were each registered under just 3 minutes in Basse Dunya Cinema between 29th May and 17th June while 1,002 were also registered in Simbara registration centre, again in just 3 minutes, 305 in Bantanto ,305 in Sibito, 1647 in Koina 1647 and 1547 in Kulari.
Darboe said the ‘malpractices’ reflected the claims made by Information Minister Ebrima Sillah in video that the NPP is going to win the election because they knew what they have.
“When the results were announced by the IEC, the number vindicated the predictions that the Minister shared during that interview,” Darboe said. He said such serious electoral fraud was never registered during Jammeh’s time.
Darboe said following a random selection of violations identified by the party’s legal team at a number of polling stations, it was revealed thousands of voters registered “without their forms being certified and or endorsed by the returning officers”.
The UDP leader demonstrated some of the forms that were not endorsed including one from Jiboto in Brikama North where he won.
The UDP leader challenged the IEC top brass to immediately resign and allow President Barrow to appoint credible persons to lead the institution.
“I want them to explain how even three people can be registered within 3 minutes and how registrations continued even after closure of registration or after registration hours. I challenge them to come out and admit to their fraud and I want to think that with these revelations if those people are men of conscience, they would all resign because we have laid them bare. We have put their pants out and everybody is seeing them naked. I think if they are men of conscience they should resign unless they can come up and explain the issues we raised,” he said.