By Sainabou Gassama and Dawda Baldeh
Sambujang Njie the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said, IEC believes that President Adama Barrow government is not interested in an election that is free, fair and transparent.
Speaking at a press conference over the week, and relayed over West Coast radio yesterday in the famous Coffee time with Peter Gomez, Sambujan said when the Election Bill was table at the parliament last week; one of the issues was the demarcation of constituencies.
CEO Njie said there are fifty three (53) constituencies and while the Bill indicates only forty one (41) which he denied is not from the IEC. He said IEC did not give that bill to the ministry of justice. “It seems there is plot of fraud.”
CEO Njie added IEC could not be accountable for alternated version of the Election Bill brought before the parliament by the Minister of Justice. IEC believe that the government through the AG Chambers might tamper with the Bill prior to bringing it before the lawmakers.
Sambujang Njie said, “what the Independent Electoral Commission saw when the election Bill was table at the parliament, was full of serious errors that are not from the IEC”, he claimed
Njie stated that, when they (IEC) completed the Bill, which was last validated with the Minister of Justice, everything was given to them (Justice Ministry) in order. “We cannot and must not underestimate boundaries or to reduce the numbers of constituencies from 53 as the Bill indicate to 41”. That is not from IEC said CEO Njie. When, “we look at the Election Bill, we observed that there were some issues that we agreed upon and were not reflected in the Bill”. The Bill as it is presented to the parliament is not from IEC but a Bill from the Ministry of Justice, he added. The ministry of justice submitted this document in the public and issues were raised that they contacted IEC and we have given them the current information regarding the constituencies, Sambujang denied the claims.
The CEO of the IEC, concluded that attestation is an issue that came out several times and many a times queries around illegal registrations has a lot to do with attestations. He told audience that while validating the Bill, one two political parties agreed that attestation should remain.
The Electoral Chief Momar Alieu Njie of the IEC told Gambians that they will not dis enfranchise Gambians . He argued that they could not table the Bill before the Law makers but the ministry as the law requires. Njie said the Ministry never comes back to them for any changes, and that is why it boomerangs against them.