Saturday, September 18, 2021
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Our electoral Arena is inundated

The Gambia is inundated with eighteen registered political parties, and four Independent candidates all and all twenty-two candidates to run for the presidency. This is the situation as at now for the December 2021 elections.
The following are the registered political parties as at the time of publishing this piece of editorial: Alliance for National Re-Orientation and Development (ANRD), Democratic Party (DP), National Unity Party (NUP), Gambia Alliance for National Unity (GANU), Citizen Alliance (CA), Gambia for ALL (GFA), National People’s Party (NPP), All People Party (APP), Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC),Gambia Action Party (GAP),Gambia Moral Congress (GMC),Alliance for Patriotic Re-Orientation and Construction and Construction Party (APRC),National Convention Party (NCP),Gambia Party for Democracy and progress (GPDP), Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), National Reconciliation Party (NRP), Peoples Democratic Organization for Independent and Socialism(PDOIS), and the United Democratic Party (UDP).
In addition there are four Independent candidates who have publicly declared their candidature for the office of the President in the December elections.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) is the body mandated to take care of the elections of the country. Here with the inundation of the electoral arena with 22 candidates, 18 representing political parties and four who are Independent candidates? The IEC have to struggle with say 22 ballot boxes in one polling station and where there are more stations in one centre the number of the ballot boxes have to increase.
Now that it is clear that the next election will be done with ballot tokens and not ballot papers, the IEC is faced with high cost of elections as we have up to 1422 polling stations and each of the above has to get 22 ballot boxes, making a total of 31,284 ballot boxes.
The above is all the reasons why the Gambia should graduate from ballot tokens to paper ballots. If our electoral process allows paper ballots, the cost would have considerably go down as only 1422 boxes will be required.

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