EXECUTIVE SHOULD WITHDRAW THE ELECTIONS AMENDMENT BILL 2015!! IT UNDERMINES THE POWERS AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE IEC

The fees for the registration of political parties and deposits for
candidates should not be prescribed by an APRC Executive and an APRC
dominated National Assembly.  The law has already given those powers to the Independent Electoral Commission.

The members of the National Assembly, especially those who are not members of the ruling party
should refer to Section 134 of the Elections Act which gives the
commission mandatory powers to review fees for the registration of
political parties and deposits for candidates.
It reads:
“The Commission may make Rules generally for the better carrying out
of the provisions of this Act and shall in particular make Rules
(a) prescribing fees for the registration of political parties and any
other fees which may be prescribed under this Act;
(b) revising the deposits payable under this Act;
(c) prescribing such procedures not covered under this Act as the
Commission considers necessary for the effective conduct of elections;
(d) authorising individuals, local and international organizations,
and members of the press and media to witness registration of voters
and the conduct of elections;
(e) regarding the certificate to be used by the Returning officers to
allow election officers and police officers to vote at their places of
duty;
(f) regarding the forms of the Report on the Closing of Polls and
Report on the Counting of Votes;
(g) prescribing the Certificate of Authorisation required under section 86;
(h) prescribing the amount of donations and gifts which a candidate or
political party may receive with respect to any election;
(i) prescribing forms for returns of death and the registration of
political parties; and
(j) prescribing any matter which may be prescribed under this Act.”

To vote and stand for elections is a constitutional right and no law
should impose unreasonable and unjustifiable restrictions in the
exercise of political rights. Imposing one Million Dalasis on citizens
before they could even register a political party and then impose
deposits amounting to 6 Million Dalasis before they could participate
in all public elections is unreasonable and unjustifiable in a heavily
indebted poor country.
This makes it impossible for most Gambians especially youths and women
to serve as representatives. The Bill is designed to promote political
exclusion and inclusion. It is a reactionary Bill which should not be
a law in any society. It promotes money-cracy and should be totally
rejected.