By Ndey Sowe
As the nomination of the presidential candidates for the 1 December poll starts yesterday, 7 November 2016 with Hon. Mamma Kandeh of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), Mr. Alieu Momar Njie, Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), after receiving his papers, told the Candidate that his nomination is accepted.
Speaking at the Election House during the nomination Mr. Kandeh, the IEC Chairman said this process that they are going through is what needs to be done in order to nominate an individual as a presidential candidate.
He explained that a person intending to contest need to meet the certain requirements and key among which are that the person should be a Gambian, with a minimum age of thirty years (30) and not more than sixty-five (65) years, has completed senior secondary school, is resident in the Gambia for five years preceding the elections, nominated by not less than five thousand voters whose names must appear in the register of voters with at least two hundred voters in each administrative areas, pay a deposit of D500,000, show a tax clearance certificate and respect the code and ethics of the election rules, among others.
Mr. Njie assured everyone present that there will a free, fair and transparent election and that at the end of the day, if one wins, then one should know that it is the people who voted for you and that, in the same vein, if one does not win, one should equally know that it is the people who did not vote for you.
For his part, Mr. Kandeh, the GDC Presidential Candidate, thanked the IEC and everyone who attended the nomination.
He said he agreed with the IEC that the election will be fair and transparent and also that the environment which they created allows political parties to operate freely.
He said his party is a newly formed party but that he has no problems so far with the IEC as well as the security.
“I must voice it out because it is a good sign for everybody to know that the IEC have done a good job, that is free and fair elections and for the part of the GDC, it is a party that respects everybody’s dignity and we are not violent people and our message is always peace and in the same vein, he asks all political parties who are coming to contest the election that they maintain the same thing, and elections are just number of days and is done; after all we are Gambians and we remain as Gambians,” said Mr. Kandeh.
On the requirements, the GDC Presidential Candidate said they have fulfilled all of them and all what they have submitted are valid.
Mr. Kandeh said he is thanking the IEC for what he described as “a job well done”.
Responding to questions from journalists, Mr. Kandeh said Yahya Jammeh was not his boss but his president and that they shared the same party before. He said as a Gambian citizen, he has the right to contest for the presidency to ensure that there is national development and for the Gambia to change for the better.
The GDC leader refuted the claim that he told journalists that no single party can win the election, adding that since 1996, one single party has been winning elections and that he is 90% sure that he will win this election.
With regards to the coalition, Mr. Kandeh said his doors and that of GDC are still open for a fair convention to be conducted nationally and not for few people to decide its flag bearer.