UDP, GDC REACT TO GAMBIAN ID CARD PREVALENCE IN CASAMANCE

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By Omar Bah

UDP leader Ousainu Darboe has challenged President Adama Barrow to resign in the wake of a Senegalese parliamentarian’s allegations that most residents of his community in Casamance have acquired Gambian ID Cards.

According to Oumar Cissé Souvané, a Senegalese parliamentarian, the majority of people in his community in Casamance have Gambian identity cards because it is very easy to get it especially during election time.

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Reacting to the allegations in a recorded video message, Darboe said: “It is quite clear that the election that Mr Barrow is really pounding his chest claiming himself to have won was fraudulently won. I believe he should resign and say he wants to have a properly conducted election on a properly made-up register of voters.”

Darboe said his party considers the government headed by President Barrow as an “illegitimate government” and that is why they do not recognise or congratulate them.

“I think what has been stated by the Senegalese MP confirms the fraud that Ebrima Sillah referred to in an interview with a group of journalists, when he said ‘we know what we have done and we are going to win this election’. So, what they have done has been gradually unearthed and known to people,” he said.

The UDP leader added that with these revelations the IEC should consider resigning “if they are really men of conscience”.

He said the “flimsy excuse” given by the director general of Immigration is “untenable”. “This gentleman (Senegalese MP) didn’t express an opinion, he stated facts, mentioned names of villages and said that those with Gambian national identity cards were over-populating the place and their own Senegalese nationality has been diluted with Gambians,” he said.

He said the UDP will make sure that “none of those people vote at the coming local government elections”.

“We did indicate that we rejected the December presidential election results because there was registration of voters who were alien and there were also registrations conducted outside the period prescribed for the registration of voters as well as outside the hours stipulated for the registration. In order to substantiate the reason for our rejection of the results, we filed a petition in the Supreme Court but the Supreme Court struck out our petition on wrong technicalities.

“We were very much shocked by that but that is their decision but what we presented to the Supreme Court is what is being stated by a Senegalese National Assembly member – in the person of Oumar Cisse who in the Senegalese assembly told President Macky Sall in no uncertain terms that he lives around the borders between Gambia and Senegal and that a vast majority of his community around 11 villages are in posssession of our national documents.

“What can be a better proof of election malpractices? If the Supreme Court had allowed us to present all the necessary evidence all these things would have come out. Now here we are. We have been told by a Senegalese legislator that Senegalese are in possession of our national documents and they were acquiring this during the time of the campaign,” he added.

Also commenting on the matter, the opposition Gambia Democratic Party condemned the Senegalese MP’s expose describing them as embarrassing.

 “Our sovereignty has been insulted on numerous occasions. No strong stance has been taken. The route is now taking the strongest shape.”

The GDC called on the government to recognize that the country is “confronted with a sovereign problem and actions are needed to regain the lost trust.”