Monday, November 28, 2016

Warnings to Electoral Commission Members, Inspector General of Police and the military

IEC Chairman - Alieu Mamar Njie 
A meeting was convened today by the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission at the Paradise Hotel in which the international press representatives were invited to assure them of the preparatory works to ensure a free, fair and credible elections are in place.

The meeting proceeded with the easy part of displaying the voting barrels for the three presidential candidate, the color and photo of each that even the less educationally endowed can distinguish the ballots of each of the presidential candidates.

In fielding questions from the press pool, the real issues underlying this years highly contentious and contested presidential elections that Yaya Jammeh stands to lose, the more difficult issues began to be highlighted by journalists present.  A reporter asked why official government vehicles are seen plying across the country unhindered, apparently engaged in partisan politics in direct contravention of the Electoral Laws of the country.  In response, a member of the Electoral Commission ( not the Chairman) in an attempt to explain away a real problem of having a huge government resource being employed by the ruling party to its advantage and to the detriment of the opposition.
IGP Yankuba Sonko 

The Chairman of the IEC, Alieu Mamar Njie chimed in by spuriously claiming that no complaints have been received from the opposition parties pertaining to the elections.  This cannot be correct because complaints have been received by the IEC regarding numerous issues relating to the elections that concerns the electoral list, distribution and establishment of polling stations.

We are drawing the attention of the Chairman of the IEC that even the legality of the Electoral (Amendment) Act of 2015 is currently before the ECOWAS Court - deposition by Interim Leader of the PPP and Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh  on behalf of the opposition and the Gambian people.  To say that no complaints have been received is patently false.

The Deputy Chairman of the IEC, Mr. Malleh Sallah, issued some condescendingly self-serving statements by suggesting that the IEC is in a unique position because the Gambia is the only country to use marbles instead of ballot paper etc. etc. rather than addressing real and substantive matters of concern to the opposition.  The Inspector General of Police, Yankuba Sonko, on the other hand cited mundane infractions by the opposition such as the burning of APRC flags and T-shirts.

What all these officials charged with the responsibility of protecting the integrity of the elections by being non-partisan and even-handed is their insatiable thirst for spewing the ruling party's talking points.  They have all been programmed to come on the side of a regime that have succeeded in co-opting and corrupting the entire machinery of government.  In fact, because the European Union and other key donors have not funded the elections, the IEC sees this as one more reason why the regime should be commended because their salaries, operating expenses that included personal favors to members of the IEC and the security forces is being financed by Yaya Jammeh.
NIA - Director

Let it be known, this year, the mood is different.  As one diplomat resident in Senegal told me "there appears to be a wind of change blowing over Gambia", and any one standing in the way risk being blown away to oblivion.  All of those listed here and elsewhere, most of whom are in the military and security services, are being warned as well and to say that the world is watching.

The IEC, the military, NIA, Police Force, Immigration and all other security services are being reminded of their role as neutral parties in these elections and should, therefore, refrain from tipping the scale in Jammeh's favor.  The entire country and many around the world who follow Gambian politics know, if the elections are conducted freely and fairly, there is no way Jammeh can win.  He will be trounced handsomely by Adama Barrow of the Coalition.

                                 VOTE COALITION  -  VOTE ADAMA BARROW