Opposition leaders counseled the Independent Electoral Commission over fraud saying they do not want cases of “non-Gambians” voting in the polls. The Gambia will be voting for a new president or give President Yahya Jammeh an additional five-year mandate in December.
Opposition supports have always accused President Jammeh of paying non-Gambians from the southern Senegal region of Casamance to win elections.
But electoral commission chairperson Alieu Mommar Njie has promised transparent polls.
“Election results may be rigged to predetermine who will win or lose, and election may be disrupted, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the process, but I stand here today to pronounce to you that, as far as our concerted efforts are in play, this will never be the case in our dear country,” Njie said.
Opposition NCP leader Dr. Lamin Bojang said he is impressed with the groundworks by the IEC.
The electoral commission said it has registered about 900,000 voters and has demarcated some constituencies but questions have been raised over the numbers.
The Gambia’s former foreign minister said the number released by the IEC already shows that polls have been rigged with the government refusing to release actual census date.
Provisional census data show that the country has fewer than two million people and many of its youths have been lost to illegal migration. At least 65% of the population falls under the youth bracket.
Opposition parties have demanded a stop to voter intimidation and for ample airtime on state broadcast network. They are also holding unity talks for a single candidate to lead a coalition to oust President Yahya Jammeh.