The Gambia’s electoral commission Chief Alieu Njie has addressed with the country’s president, Yahya Jammeh claims of voter fraud and fears of rigging polls in the country’s December presidential elections.
The Gambia’s ruling APRC has been accused by opposition activists of covertly registering foreigners, mostly refugees from the southern Senegalese region of Casamance. The international community expressed concerns that the government may use intimidation tactics to rig the polls and has called on the electoral commission to main its independence.
President Yahya Jammeh said he cannot stop the Independent Electoral Commission from issuing voters cards those that came with Gambian documentation and urged opposition activists to register complaints of suspected voter fraud with foreigners to the commission. Jammeh urged Mr. Njie to invite the international community to send observers.
“Invite the international community to come and observe the elections. You cannot listen to everyone and satisfy everyone. Do what is right and fear no one,” said Jammeh.
The electoral chairman has assured opposition leaders that the polls will not be rigged and has put in new counting measures to avoid poll rigging. Njie last month denied the request of tens of soldiers who stormed his office demanding voter card saying it was past registration time and that some had no documentation to prove their citizenship.
Njie has accepted the candidature of three hopefuls, including President Yahya Jammeh. The Gambia’s election this year will see two newcomers, Mama Kandeh and Adama Barrow challenging Mr. Jammeh. Barrow is backed by seven opposition groups and an independent candidate with Kandeh relying heavily on disgruntled APRC and opposition members to upset a miraculous win.