The world is moving and Gambia is back peddling in all aspects of our development as the draft 2020 Constitution, a progressive one for that matter is just rejected by the National Assembly. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), in their quest to have good and progressive election laws have come up with a new Election Bill out there for validation before it reaches the National Assembly for approval.
There has since come out many information, concerning the ex-punch of the Spot counting, true or false that is yet to be established by the Daily News.
However from what many are saying is that, the country will not settled for anything less than on the spot counting at pooling centers. There is an outcry that if this government insist or manipulates the ex-puncture of that very valuable clause from our laws, it might bring something unpleasant.
The Daily News is aware of: Clause 75. Power to designate counting centers (1) The counting of votes shall take place at polling stations under the direction of the Presiding officer in accordance with the provisions of this Act. (2) Notwithstanding sub-section (1), the Commission may prior to conducting elections for any electoral division or a referendum under this Act, designate, by Order published in the Gazette, counting centres for the counting of votes cast in the election.
Section 75 sub-section (1) of the election Bill before the validation workshop, is saying the counting of votes SHALL take place at polling stations. Here the word SHALL is mandatory, meaning votes has to be counted at polling centers. But this is if, this particular clause is not tampered by those who were validating the Election Bill last week.
There are other clauses that bring lot of confusions as to whether clause 75 sub-section (1) cannot be compromised; such as where the Election Bill talk of transporting drums at the closure of voting.
Therefore it would be very prudent that another clause be inserted and make such a clause a standalone clause, saying there shall be counting on the Spot at the close of polls of every voting/elections. This way there will be no ambiguity of the law.
Gambians are watching and all our elections must be rigged free, and that is only possible if we have good electoral laws in-place. We as a nation have another chance of sanitize our democracy as we just lost a chance when 23 members of the National Assembly voted against the new draft constitution that would have ushered us into a new republic, called the 3rd republic.
One of the key pillars of the Barrow administration is the Transitional Justice processes initiated to ensure the needed reforms that would put The Gambia on the path of democracy and development.
These include the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), The Security Sector Reform (SSR), The Janneh Commission of Inquiry and a Constitutional Reform (CRC).
The Constitutional reform was the lynchpin of this entire process and it was a national priority for both Gambians and the coalition government as it was supposed to smoothly free us from the much tailored 1997 Constitution