Wednesday, March 23, 2016

IEC Chairman and Members terms of office extended indefinitely in new amendment to the constitution

Alh. Mustapha Carayol 
In preparation for what he is hoping to be a smooth re-election to his fifth 5-year term as president, Yaya Jammeh, the Gambian brutal and prolific dictator is on the verge of regularizing the illegal occupation of the Chairmanship of the so-called Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) by introducing a Bill to amend the Constitution for the umpteenth time in two decades.

According to Hon. Samba Jallow of the opposition National Reconciliation Party who was speaking to an online dissident radio station based in the United States, the purpose of the move is to scuttle the loud and embarrassing criticism of the regime for brazenly contravening the constitutional provisions governing the terms of office of members of the IEC.

Section 42 of the Constitution is being amended in sub-section (4) by substituting the phrase “one further term” for the words “further terms of office” making it possible for the current Chairman Mustapha Carayol who had already served more than one further term to continue serving indefinitely. In short, by virtue of the proposed amendment, the IEC Chairman Carayol would have secured a lifetime appointment.

The proposed amendment is not limited to the chairman but it is applicable to all members of the Commission to be able to serve more.   According to the regime, the reason for the amendment is to allow members to serve indefinitely and to ensure that experienced members of the Commission are maintained to lend their expertise to the operations of the Commission as long as they are able to do so. 

Of course we know the reasons advanced are baseless.  The real reason for allowing all members to serve indefinitely is to ensure that members found to be dancing to the tune of the dictator to steal the elections for Jammeh can be sure of guaranteed lifetime tenure as member of the IEC.