Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It is time to stand up to Yaya Jammeh

Alhagie. Mustapha Carayol, Chairman IEC
The Chairman of the so-called Independent Electoral Commission who is occupying the seat illegally has issued a press release reminding political parties that the deadline for them to register under the draconian Electoral Reform Act of 2015 is fast approaching.

All political parties must comply by the March 31 2016 deadline or risk being banished into oblivion.

Among the new requirements are that all party executive members must be resident in the Gambia and every party must maintain a party secretariat in all of the five administrative areas of the country.

All political parties must also submit the audited accounts to show sources of their finances as well as how the funds are being spent.  Parties are also to pay a D 500,000 registration fee.  There are other additional requirements that include but not limited to requiring all parties to have 10,000 members with at least 1,000 members for each administrative area.

These new requirements are deliberate and targeted designed to eliminate existing opposition parties from participation in future elections and not to make the election terrain more hospitable to ensure free and fair elections.

Few, if any of the opposition parties, will be able to fulfill these stringent requirements.  The opposition parties must, therefore, resist the temptation of being sucked into a vacuum of believing that they can meet the requirements.

It is time to stand up to Jammeh and say no to these skewed requirements.  The new election laws are designed to disqualify all opposition and therefore should not be accepted.