Tuesday, June 28, 2011

‘To register Gambian president at state house is tradition’- IEC Chairman

Mustapha L. Carayol Chairman IEC
The Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of The Gambia, Mr. Mustapha L. Carayol has told a press conference that for his team to register Gambian President Yahya AJJ Jammeh and his family at state house in Banjul is tradition for the commission.
He adds: “this is a tradition that me and my staff inherited at the IEC” adding that “anybody who becomes the president of The Gambia will continue enjoying the tradition”,he stated.
Mr. Carayol was speaking at a press conference held 23 June 2011, at its headquarters along Bertil Harding Highway.
When asked again were will the president cast his vote, he reply, the president will cast his vote at the July 22 Square in Banjul noting that “there is no polling station on our list of polling centres name state house,.” He continued, “so the only place he (President Jamming) and his family can cast their vote is at the July 22 Square, “ chairman Carayol remarked.

He told the gathering that this is not the first for IEC to register president at state house but was quick to say that it is not in the election constitution but is all about giving respect to the head of state.
He continued, “for us at the IEC we don’t see any problem in registering the president and his family at state house as far as the head of state and his family have all their national documents that can acquire them a voters card.’
He then called on all Gambians not to make eye brown on the matter, he says every Gambian have only one voter card and will vote one.
Asked about why IEC did not send budget to Gambian abroad for them to finance registration, IEC chairman said that it’s a good idea for Gambians abroad to finance their registration process so as for them to cast their votes.
Chairman Carayol maintained that IEC has no problem with that but the bottom line is that, they are late for this upcoming election,, but admitted that electoral commission is in dire need of money to finance the elections.
He then thanked the government of the Gambian for funding the general voter registration
On why some Mauritanians were registered in The Gambia, answering, Mr. Carayol told the conference that no Mauritian is registered to vote in The Gambian but they Gambian residing in Mauritian.
He explained that these peoples decided to come to The Gambia, register, while emphasing that the commission cannot stop citizens to register as far as they have all the required Gambian documents.
“ The Mauritania that were all registered are all citizens of this country and they all registered at places were they were born and they will cast their vote were they were registered as enshrined in the constitution.
Buttressing on chairman Carayol point, was Mr. Modou Sarr United Democracy Party (UNP) who represented the party at the conference.
Sarr indicated that Mauritians acquired the voter card were all scrutinise and confirmed to be Gambians.
He added that its their constitutional rights for them to be registered and vote for their candidate of choice.
Also making a point on the issue was Mr. Ham-at Bah Secretary General and party leader of NRP Party who expressed his happiness about Gambians coming from other parts of the sub-region to register in The Gambia.
Mr. Bah called on Gambian outside to emulate Gambian based Mauritanians.
He revealed that the NRP has ferried Gambian in Senegal to come and register in the Gambia.
“ I want to inform this august gathering that my party (NRP) has funded some Gambians based in Senegal to come to The Gambia and register.”
This, he said is not a criminal act and there is no problem of doing it as far as they are Gambian citizens adding that they have all the constitutional rights to register.in The Gambia.
“ We are all Gambians, therefore, we need to have Gambian documents.”
He finally commended IEC for conducting free and fair vote registration saying that this clearly shows that the electoral system of the country is improving.
Other political parties also joins Mr. Bah to expressed their satisfaction the manner the general voter registration was conducted.
Present at the press conference were United Nations Agencies, European Commission, Media (print, electronic and the internet fields), Political parties and staff of IEC.

No comments: