Thursday, November 10, 2016

IEC assures free, fair election

The IEC vice chairman, Mr. Malleh Sallah has assured the masses that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) would always remain independent and will ensure free and fair elections to the nation.

He noted that the country needs to show the world that the upcoming elections are up to standard and world class to none.

He made these remarks yesterday while endorsing the candidature of the coalition parties headed by standard bearer Adama Barrow, for the December 1 presidential election.

The Coalition standard bearer is backed by seven political parties and one independent.  This is the first time, Mr. Barrow is contesting.    

Mr Sallah went on to urge all and sundry to maintain a peaceful election for the interest and development of this country saying “the IEC will this year – again conduct free and fair elections.  

“Whatever people do, they should all have the code of conduct that would outline the good practice for the campaign, which should be abided by all the political parties,” he said.

In his speech on the occasion, the IEC Chairman Alieu Momar Njai, in his endorsement speech, stated that the standard bearer was qualified to run for presidency, as he presented all the required documents for the elections but was quick to say that he will undergo public scrutinizing- the public scrutinising will be held on Friday.

 “The elections could not be rigged, and it is going to be free and fair,” he assured, while explaining the voting process and procedures.

His words: “Before voting starts, all the party agents would ensure that the polling booth is totally empty and ballot drums will be sealed in the presence of party agents and representatives. Nobody will have the opportunity to tamper with the sealed ballot drums.”

“Nobody has the right to enter the polling booth, except the one who is going to vote; so there would be transparency.”

 Talking to the press shortly after his nomination, Adama Barrow expressed optimistic of winning the election, as he got a “very strong technical team”.

 He also commended his colleagues for choosing him as the standard bearer, because they have sacrificed a lot for them to come together and challenge the incumbent, come December 1.  

He said though they have faced numerous challenges at the time of forming the coalition.

He said that come December 1, all their hard work and dedication would finally pay off.

“We will maintain peace and stability, and we will respect the rights of each and every Gambian,” Barrow assured all. 

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