By Yankuba Jallow
The University of The Gambia Electoral Commission organised a day long convention for aspirant candidates vying for positions in the UTGSU. According to the Chairman UTGEC,` the convention is in accordance with Section 31 of their Constitution that before every UTG elections there shall be a convention.
According to him 6000 students are expected to vote in 6 polling stations and UTGEC is a 10 man body tasked to look into the affairs of UTG elections.
He remarked, “In this year’s convention 16 candidates are vying for elections today in 9 positions where four of the positions were unopposed. The unopposed positions are Ministers of Education and Research, Technical Services, Finance and Auditor General. There were 2 Candidates vying for Presidency, 3 for Vice President, 2 for Secretary General, 2 for Information and Communication and 3 for Gender and Health Minister”.
The Chairman, Baba Y. Darboe announced that there will be a spot counting of votes to ease the counting process thereby reducing the heavy task for them. He added that voting will start at 8am and close at 5pm. He advised the electorates to come out in large numbers to cast their votes and desist from violence during the election.
The candidates in their manifestos highlighted the deplorable conditions of the University of The Gambia ranging from insufficient resources, bad toilet facilitates, lack of proper internet facilities among other issues. They all promised to discharge their roles effectively to tackle matters involving students and bring betterment of the institution especially the issue of grading system.
Meanwhile the students will today vote for the 16th Executive for UTGSU. The University of The Gambia Students Union (UTGSU) is the main body that runs the affairs of all Students of the Institution for all the schools.
The UTG Electoral Commission in collaboration with The Gambia Police Force will provide peace and security during the electoral and counting process. According to UTGEC Chairman Baba Y. Darboe they will count the votes cast immediately after the voting at 5pm in front of all Candidates’ agents.
There are three parties contesting for 9 positions which involve 16 candidates and the parties are Alliance for Change, Team Alpha and an Independent aspirant for the Vice President.
The annual election is conducted by the UTG Electoral Commission which according to them is in accordance with UTGSU Constitution. The Students are expected to come out in their large numbers to vote for their candidates to give them mandate to run their affairs for this year.
According to the UTGEC there will be observers called ‘the legacy’ who will serve as observers who will be in all schools. They promised free and fair elections today.