IEC Chairman Announces Electoral Calendar

The Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, Mr Mustapha Carayol on Monday 30 November 2015 announced the IEC Chairman Carrayolelectoral calendar 2016 to 2018.

Presidential Election will be held on Thursday 1st December 2016, National Assembly Elections will be held on Thursday 6th April 2017 and Local Government Elections on Thursday 12th April 2018.

The Chairman also indicated that the first day of registration will be on Thursday 14th January 2016 and the exercise will run up to Saturday 12th March 2016 including Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

He noted that though registration will be on throughout this period, not all registration centres will be opened and closed at the same time. A programme of registration teams’ movements will be announced later. He reminded all Gambians that “where you register is where you will vote”.

He did emphasise that a complete and accurate voters’ list is the starting point of a credible election. “An election that is credible must also prevent voters from voting more than once and unregistered voters from voting,” he noted. He is convinced that the “use of biometrics for automatic de­duplication, verification and authentication at the point of registration represents the best solution in ensuring election with highest integrity, which is always a priority area for the conduct of elections in The Gambia.”

He said that the penalty on double registration is a prison term of two years and/or a fine of twenty five thousand dalasis; and that such person or persons will be barred from any electoral activity for ten years. “Do not register more than once,” he emphasised.

Mr Carayol also informed his audience that this supplementary registration of voters is only meant for those who have newly turned 18 years or would be 18 years old by 1st December 2016. “It is also meant for those who are 18 years or more but missed the last general voter registration because they were not in the country. In a nutshell, those who registered in the last general voter registration in 2011 must not register,” he asserted.

He further reminded Gambians that the Elections (Amendment) Act 2015 forbids Transfer of Voting Cards. However, there is provision for Replacement of Voting Cards and this will go on concurrently with the Supplementary Registration of Voters from Thursday 14th January 2016 to Saturday l2 March 2016. If one’s card is lost, damaged, mutilated or defaced one can go to where one got registered in 2011. The fee attached to replacement of a voting card is one hundred dalasis (Dl00.00), he said.

He also pointed out that the Elections (Amendment) Act 2015 has revoked the provision on the “five elders of any locality attesting for the citizen of any person.”

The IEC Chairman concluded with the following message: “The democracy bus has taken off, do not be left out for you are part of it.”

EDITOR’S NOTE

Any Gambian who does not possess a valid voter’s card has the right to go to one’s place of birth or residence to be registered as a voter during supplementary registration.