By Aja Musu Bah Daffeh
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) yesterday, 10 November, accepted the nomination of the APRC candidate, Yahya Jammeh, who is the incumbent, to contest in the presidential election on 1 December 2016.
The APRC Presidential Candidate came to file his nomination papers with the IEC accompanied by his entourage comprising party officials, his party supporters called the ‘green youths’, civil servants, alkalolu, district chiefs, municipal and area council officials, security personnel and the police band, among others.
This is the fifth time that the APRC candidate has been nominated by his party to contest the presidential election and has been returned in the four previous ones.
Speaking at Election House during the nomination process, Alieu Momar Njai, the Chairman of IEC, after welcoming the candidate and his entourage, said they are ready to conduct the presidential election.
Mr. Njai said the IEC has a system of voting which is unique in the whole world and that it cannot be rigged by anyone. He said the election procedure is free, fair and transparent and that no political party complains about it.
The IEC noted that the best way to conduct the election is to ensure that all the parties are involved in the process to observe every stage of it as well as the counting. “I don’t want to rig any election,” he assured.
Mr. Njai advised that the people should fear no one except God and that they should do what is right. “So this is a transitory point because what you sow here is what you will harvest in the next world,” he added.
It was finally confirmed that all the nomination documents filed by the APRC candidate are valid and which include the deposit of D500,000, tax payment certificate, the symbol, color and photographs, manifesto, etc.
Speaking to the media after filing his nomination papers, the APRC candidate promised that when elected in the next five years the Gambia will achieve three things namely free education for all at all levels, free medical care for all and equal salaries for both men and women. He said it was reported in the western media that it will take the next 20 years for UK, France and others, to attain parity in salaries for both men and women.
The APRC candidate said before the inception of his government the men were paid more than women because of gender inequality but that it was when he came to office as president that the male and the female permanent secretaries are paid equal salaries.
Yahya Jammeh also promised that the Gambia will reach high income status for everybody and that before 2021, the Gambia will become an economic super power and that a lot of countries will be coming to beg for assistance because of the available abundant resources.