(JollofNews) – The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) registered 837 029 voters during 44 days of voter registration exercise, according to the commission’s chairman Alhagie Mustapha Carayol. He expressed satisfaction over the just concluded voters’ registration, saying: ‘’at the end of the 44 days of the exercise, the provisional number of registered voters is 837, 029.’’
Chairman Carayol told a press conference at the commission’s headquarters Thursday ‘’I seized the opportunity to register the electoral body’s gratitude to the Government of the Republic of the Gambia for entirely and exclusively funding the General Registration of voters exercise.”
“The Commission is also indebted to all the stakeholders in the electoral process for a job well done. However, as the Chairman of the IEC, I will not do justice if I do not profusely thank both the permanent and temporal staff of the Commission for selflessly, conscientiously and professionally carrying out their varied tasks,” he said.
Far from succumbing to an auto-satisfaction, he acknowledged the fact that the registration exercise encountered some initial difficulties. He therefore revealed that a laptop which was being used at the Dippakunda Mosque registration centre was stolen. “This was an unfortunate situation for seemingly there is no fear of God for stealing at a place of worship. The laptop is yet to be found.”
At this juncture, some IEC officials spared no efforts to assure the gathering that there is no need to worry about the encrypted data as this will prevent unauthorized persons from accessing or understanding the data contained on the laptop.
Mr Carayol further revealed some of his staff deployed at the Old Jeshwang Lower Basic School Registration Centre were attacked, few security personnel wounded and laptop destroyed beyond repairs. “However, it is gratifying to note that the culprit has since been senetnced.”
Regarding the issue of claimants, he went on to say that the IEC is already done with the registration, and is currently uploading the data to its database. “The provisional list of voters will be printed and pasted at all registrations centers countrywide for public viewing for a period of ten days. This is to enable the general public to thoroughly scrutinize the list for correct spelling of names, omitted names and lastly to check for the names of individuals that have been registered but should not have had their names entered in the register.”
Consequently, he indicated that the Chief Justice has already appointed Magistrates for all the administrative areas. These revising courts, he went on, will be operational for sixty days. “If it is ascertain that a claimant’s name has been entered in the register when it should not have been, that name should be expunged from the register.”
According to the electoral chief Presidential election is scheduled for November 24, 2011 while the date for nomination of candidates is set for November 10, 2011. “Campaign will commence on Saturday 12th November, 2011 and end on Tuesday 22 November, 2011.”
Halifa Sallah of the National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD); Amath Bah of the National Reconciliation (NRP); Samba Gajigo of the Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC); and Momodou Sarr of the United Democratic Party (UDP) attended the briefing.