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Gambia’s Opposition GMC To Boycott Local Elections

Ballot boxes(JollofNews) – An opposition party in the Gambia has announced that it will not be contesting this year’s local government elections.

The Gambia Moral Congress Party (GMC) said elections in the Gambia are a mere formality with foregone conclusions and it will not be a party to a brazen fraudulent process, the goal of which is merely to legitimise a sham democracy.

It a letter to JollofNews, Mai Ahmed Fatty, leader of the party wrote: “The essence of decentralised democracy originally contained in the LGA 2002 was severely neutralised through reckless amendments, rendering any elections as such meaningless. The well-known policy position of the Group of Six continues to guide GMC in its relations and dealings with the IEC and related electoral matters.

We re-commit ourselves to the righteous stand of G-6 and apply same in relation to the local elections, just announced by the IEC.
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We re-echo the irrefutable fact that Mustapha Carayol’s term as the Chairman of IEC had expired, and cannot be renewed according to relevant law. GMC is now settled in our belief that citing constitutional provisions to this administration is incapable of producing compliance with the impugned act. Notwithstanding, for record purposes, we secure strength in Section 42 (4) of the Constitution which states:

‘Subject to the provisions of this section, the members of the Commission shall be appointed for a period of seven years and may be re-appointed for one further term: Provided that three of the first members (who shall be chosen by lot) shall be appointed for lesser periods than seven years in order to provide continuity within the Commission’. This section factually applies, without controversy, directly to Mustapha Carayol, the purported IEC Chairman

Evidence showed that Carayol was initially appointed 16 years ago, from PIEC days. He is legally eligible to serve for seven years, subject to a one time renewal for like period only at IEC.

In effect, he cannot be appointed according to law for the third term which he is illegally serving. According to unimpeachable records, and by the unequivocal confession of the IEC Vice Chairman in the media, Mr Carayol’s mandate was renewed for the third term on the 15th October 2011, contrary to the Constitution. Therefore, by the Supreme Law of the Land, Mr  Cararayol is incapable of organising an election in The Gambia.

By letter dated 23rd May 2012, G-6 verifiably communicated this fatal anomaly to the Attorney-General & Minster of Justice, the Public Service Commission, Judicial Service Commission, etc to secure compliance with the Constitution, all of whom failed to act.

Further, if the IEC is serious about conducting genuine elections, it should demonstrate goodwill by reciprocating and engaging the Group of Six on the fundamental flaws it outlined, negatively impacting the electoral process.

The reform of the electoral process is a precondition for our participation in any future elections by the IEC. To proceed with elections under this anomalous circumstances amount to fighting with both hands and feet tied by the IEC. Both the State and the IEC, including Mustapha Carayol are aware of the unconstitutionality.

Unless these fatal anomalies, which as fetters under Section 26 of the Constitution are immediately corrected by the State, it would be unconstitutional for GMC to contest any elections conducted by IEC, under Mustapha Carayol.

We invite the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice publicly to refute this position by reference to law, and we are confident that he cannot.

With elections as a mere formality with foregone conclusions, GMC will therefore not be a party to a brazen fraudulent process, the goal of which is merely to legitimise a sham democracy.”

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