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Govt. SAP has No Room for Diaspora Voting

By Almamo Kamaso
The law makers shall discuss the Supplementary Appropriation Bill (SAP) on Wednesday without any budget line for people living in the diaspora to take part in the 2021 presidential elections schedule for 4th December 2021.
Reacting to the D1.8 billion request as a Supplementary Appropriation Bill (SAP), Hon Madi M.K Ceesay said for the government to bring in such a Bill without any budget line for the participation of our citizens living in the diaspora is a clear testimony of the lack of interest and commitment by this government to allow our citizens living in the diaspora to take part in our elections.
In the Bill there are requests of D12.5 million to purchase vehicles for our regional governors and another D45 million for the Interior ministry for the ministry of interior as compensation to non-financial public.
“The Supplementary Appropriation Bill is also asking for D80 million for the IEC, but that is only going in for the shortfall for the voter registration software Application; nothing is set for the facilitation of the diaspora voting” Hon Ceesay said.
Hon Ceesay asks where is the political commitment of the Barrow regime to make it possible for the Gambians living in the diaspora to take part in our elections. It’s not there. He called on his colleagues to say no to the SAP without the inclusion of a budget line to facilitate the participation of our citizens living abroad.
The needs that this government put as priority does not include the participation of the diaspora people in our elections. Hon Ceesay said he could remember when the ministry of Finance was consulted on the 2021 Election Bill on the issue of diaspora voting they said there is no money unless government comes with an SAP, why now are they before lawmakers with a SAP which does not take care of the diaspora voting?
This SAP should be thrown out unless there is some allocation for the participation of the Gambians living abroad, just like how other nationals participate in their elections.

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