By Ousainou J. Sawaneh (PrinCE OjeE)
The Elections Watch Committee latest report has revealed that in Banjul South, NPP Supporters were seen campaigning at the NPP Political Bureau located opposite the polling station which was upsetting voters.
The report further indicated that IEC officials however, later ordered the closure of the bureau to restore calm.
Speaking to Journalists, Deputy Speaker of the National Youth Parliament and Member of the Elections Watch Committee said the updates is based on reports received from their 300 stationary observers deployed to polling streams proportionally nationwide as of 12:00pm on 9th April, 2022.
‘‘This report focuses on the set-up and opening of polling stations and streams adding that the percentages reported reflect percentages of polling streams observed which provides credible data on emerging national trends. At this time, the Elections Watch Committee has received 100% of reports from its 300 stationary observers” she said.
NYP Deputy Speaker said observers reported that in 23% of polling streams the Presiding Officer did not count number of tokens at the polling stream before opening the process for voting.
She stressed that EWC observers have witnessed three instances where party agents demanding the counting ballot tokens delayed the start of the voting process.
‘‘The EWC received three reports of disagreements at polling stations due to insistences of party/candidate agents demanding that ballot tokens be counted at the polling station before voting starts. For example, at a polling station in Brikama, Kombo South, party agents representing GDP, NPP, UDP and an independent candidate demanded the count of the tokens before opening. This delayed the opening time by one hour’’ she explained.
Jobe reiterated that their observers also noted that in 32% of the polling streams voters had to climb stairs to reach the polling stream while noting that stairs make the polling station inaccessible to the person Ms with disabilities and the elderly which may disenfranchise them from voting.
‘‘In another polling station in the Kanifing Administrative area, a UDP party agent again demanded the count of the ballot tokens before voting began. This delayed the start of the voting process. At another polling station located in Lower Nuimi, Kerewan, party agents demanded a count of the tokens delaying the opening for thirty minutes’’ she said.